Mistresses: A History of the Other Woman

Mistresses: A History of the Other Woman

by Elizabeth Abbott

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Overview

Mistresses: A History of the Other Woman by Elizabeth Abbott

She has been known as the "kept woman," the "fancy woman," and the "other woman." She exists as both a fictional character and a flesh-and-blood human being. But what do Madame de Pompadour, Jane Eyre, and Camilla Parker-Bowles have in common? Why do women become mistresses, and is a mistress merely a wife-in-waiting, or is she the very definition of the emancipated, independent female?

In Mistresses, Elizabeth Abbott intelligently examines the motives and morals of some of the most infamous and fascinating women in history and literature. Drawing intimate portraits of those who have—whether by chance, coercion, or choice– assumed this complex role, from Chinese concubines and European royal mistresses to mobster molls and trophy girlfriends, Mistresses offers a rich blend of history, personal biography, and cultural insight.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781468300550
Publisher: Overlook
Publication date: 09/25/2012
Edition description: Reprint
Pages: 528
Product dimensions: 5.40(w) x 7.90(h) x 1.20(d)
Age Range: 18 Years

About the Author

Elizabeth Abbott is Research Associate at Trinity College, University of Toronto, and, from 1991 to 2004, was Dean of Women. She is the author of several books, including Sugar and Haiti, also published by Overlook. She lives in Toronto.

Table of Contents

Author's Note xii

Introduction

Meeting Mistresses xiii

Chapter 1 Love Out of Wedlock in the Ancient World 10

Hagar 11

Aspasia 13

Corinna 19

Dolorosa 28

Chapter 2 Eastern Concubines and Harems 34

Concubines in China 34

Yu-fang 38

May-ying 39

Concubines in Japan 44

Lady Nijo 46

Geisha Mistresses 48

Harem Concubines 53

Roxelana 53

Tz'u-hsi 59

Chapter 3 Whose Whore? Europe's Royal Mistresses 71

Nell Gwynne 72

Jeanne-Antoinette de Pompadour 77

Jeanne du Barry 83

Lola Montez 88

Katharina Schratt 91

Alice Keppel 96

Elena Lupescu 99

Camilla Parker-Bowles 106

Chapter 4 Marital Arrangements in Aristocratic Circles 115

Lady Bess Foster and Georgiana, Duchess of Devonshire 115

Lady Caroline Lamb 123

Claire Clairmont 130

Countess Teresa Guiccioli 135

Chapter 5 The Clandestine Consorts of (Un) Celibate Clerics 144

The Priest's "Housekeeper" 147

Papal Mistresses 153

Theodora and Marozia Theophylact 153

Vanozza d'Arignano and Giulia Farnese 156

The Modern Clerical Mistress 161

Annie Murphy 164

Louise Iusewicz 169

Pamela Shoop 172

Chapter 6 Conquerors and Their Mistresses 176

Spanish Conquistadors and Native Women I76

Malinche 176

"Country Wives" in Colonial America 183

Sally Fidler, Betsey Sinclair and Margaret Taylor 187

Mistresses in Conquered Asia 190

Le Ly Hayslip and Dao Thi Mui 191

Chapter 7 Interracial Sexual Unions Within the "Peculiar Institution" 195

Phibbah 197

Julia Chinn 202

Sally Hemings 204

Julia Frances Lewis Dickson 208

Harriet Jacobs 215

Chapter 8 Sexual Unions and the Jewish Question 225

Concentration Camp Life Before Death 227

Eleanore Hodys 234

"Partisan" Forest Camps 236

Eva Braun: Mistress to the Author of the Shoah 238

Jew and Gentile, Beyond the Camps 249

Hannah Arendt 249

Chapter 9 Mistresses as Muses 258

Héloise 259

Émilie du Châtelet 264

Jeanne Hébuterne 271

George Eliot 275

Lillian Hellman 284

Catherine Walston 293

Joyce Maynard 304

Chapter 10 Mistresses of Men Above the Law 313

Mobster Molls 313

Virginia Hill 313

Arlyne Brickman 320

Sandy Sadowsky, Georgia Durante and Shirley Ryce 323

Kremlin Dolls 326

Castro's Comrades 327

Naty Revuelta 328

Celia Sanchez 339

Chapter 11 Mistresses as Trophy Dolls 344

Marion Davies 344

Gloria Swanson 359

Maria Callas 366

Marilyn Monroe 377

Judith Campbell 388

Vicki Morgan 393

Chapter 12 Fallen Women: Mistresses in Literature 401

Jane Eyre 401

Hester Prynne 404

Emma Bovary 408

Anna Karenina 413

Mildred Rogers 415

Ellen Olenska 419 Lara 423

Sarah Miles 427

Merrion Palmer 429

Chapter 13 The 1960s Transform Marriage and Mistressdom 433

Pamela Digby Churchill Hayward Harriman 435

Lillian Ross 439

Simone de Beauvoir 442

Paula 448

Rachel 451

Michaela 454

Conclusion: Mistresses Met 458

Endnotes 465

Acknowledgments 495

Index 497

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