History Of Mistresses

Paperback | March 8, 2004

byElizabeth Abbott

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She has been known as the "kept woman," the "fancy woman," and the "other woman." The French acknowledge her existence by remarking, "The chains of marriage are so heavy that it often takes three people to carry them." She is Jeanne Antoinette de Pompadour, and Simone de Beauvoir, not to mention Marilyn Monroe and Camilla Parker-Bowles. She is a mistress, and she has been – and is – very much apart of our human cultural history. But who is she, really? What is the true nature of the mistress-lover relationship? How do women experience mistressdom? And where does love figure in all of this?

Elizabeth Abbott, who made celibacy sexy in her acclaimed A History of Celibacy, has the fascinating storehouse of answers in a deliciously rich blend of history, personality and cultural study. In a lively and accessible style, History of Mistresses draws intimate portraits of mistresses throughout history, from Chinese concubines to Europe’s royal mistresses and the clandestine consorts of (un)celibate clerics. Mobster molls, trophy dolls and modern mistresses are deconstructed, with often surprising results. Beyond the personalities, some interesting themes emerge: the relationship between mistresses of colour and their married men; the coercion of Jewish women during the Holocaust; and a contemporary look at today’s "power" mistresses.

From lust to love, from money to power, Abbott’s A History of Mistresses ferrets out the motives and morals of these women, carrying the reader along on a journey that is hugely informative and always entertaining.

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From the Publisher

She has been known as the "kept woman," the "fancy woman," and the "other woman." The French acknowledge her existence by remarking, "The chains of marriage are so heavy that it often takes three people to carry them." She is Jeanne Antoinette de Pompadour, and Simone de Beauvoir, not to mention Marilyn Monroe and Camilla Parker-Bowles...

Elizabeth Abbott is Dean of Women at Trinity College, University of Toronto, where she also teaches a social science course. An historian with a doctorate in 19th-century history, she has worked for over a decade as a journalist and writer with a special interest in social history and the environment. She was editor-in-chief of Chron...

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Format:PaperbackDimensions:528 pages, 8 × 5.5 × 1.25 inPublished:March 8, 2004Publisher:HarperCollinsLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0006385893

ISBN - 13:9780006385899

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Customer Reviews of History Of Mistresses

Reviews

Rated 3 out of 5 by from starts with a bang, ends with a fizzle this book was written linearly and the beginning was spectacular. it describes the life of japanese concubines and the mistresses of the kings of europe. i found the last third of the book to be lacking and less exciting. the lives of mistresses of the last 2 centuries were not glamourous or interesting. the amount of time spent talking about these women and their respective men was redundant and it felt as the author was trying to fill a word quota on her book. i found the layout of the book to be well done. each chapter begins with the lifestyle of women in that time period and what was expected of them, then had specific examples of men and thier mistresses. over all very informative and a window to a misunderstood place in women history.
Date published: 2006-06-29