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MISTRESSES: A History of the Other Woman
Bibliophile price: £1.00
Known as the 'fancy woman', 'kept woman', the 'other woman', what do Jane Eyre, Madame de Pompadour, Eloise, Marilyn Monroe and Camilla Parker-Bowles have in common? Is a mistress merely a wife-in-waiting, or is she the very definition of the emancipated, independent female? Beginning in the ancient world with Hagar and Corinna, the book moves through eastern concubines and harems and geisha, Europe's royal mistresses like Nell Gwynne and Jeanne de Barry and Alice Keppel, marital arrangements in aristocratic circles like that of Lady Bess Foster and Georgiana, Duchess of Devonshire, un-celibate clerics, conquerors and their mistresses like Spanish conquistadors and native women and 'country wives' in colonial America, mistresses as muses, mistresses of men above the law like Kremlin dolls, mistresses as trophy dolls like Maria Callas, mistresses in literature like Emma Bovary, and the 1960s transformation. And what had been the cost to the faithful wife and the mistresses who do have children with their lovers? So many wonderful stories in this multifaceted history. 510pp.

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