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History Of Mistresses Paperback – Mar 8 2004
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About the Author
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 Chronicle of Canada, the bestselling illustrated history of Canada and the author of Haiti: The Duvaliers and their Legacy.She is a book reviewer for The Globe and Mail and The Gazette (Montreal).She has written for Harrowsmith, The Next City and Equinox and in 1992 won a National Magazine Award for environmental writing.A History of Celibacy is her most recent book.
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Top Customer Reviews
The book starts out chronologically in the ancient world with the Biblical mistress Hagar then goes into the Eastern Orient and Persian Harems. The book then has a chapter for European royal mistresses and a separate chapter for European aristocracy. It has chapters for papal consorts and one for mistresses and conquerors. There are chapters based on interracial sexual unions and one chapter I found very interesting about Jewish mistresses in Nazi Germany.
There are also thematically based chapters featuring mistresses as muses, mobster molls, and trophy dolls as well as fictional mistresses in literature. Finally, the author concludes with modern case studies of mistresses after the 1960s and their continued evolution within western culture.
I found that I read this book in sections rather than as a whole, because some parts of the book like the ancient case studies were more interesting to me than others like the modern period. The author has done a wonderful job compiling a ton of information in one tome with extensive end notes, but I found that the book struggled in the last chapter perhaps because modern mistresses may not be as well known or understood as their historical counterparts.
Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
1) Lack of research: an example from the chapter on "Geisha Mistresses." "Unlike 98 percent of Japanese women, geishas never marry." I just have to wonder where the author got this figure, 98% from (which is grossly inaccurate). There are just too many inaccuracies to write down here.
2) Writing style: too much generalization/blankets statements. e.g. Again from the sample chapter as above. "For the Younger Sister, the ultimate geisha goal was to become a rich man's mistress."
3) Arbitrary choices: e.g. I have no idea why the author left out more famous mistresses such as Madame de Montespan and Lady Castlemaine. Nell Gwynn yes? But not Castlemaine? So what criteria did the author use to the "most famous/infamous" mistresses?
movie Don Jon was released in theaters (I went there after).
It's not even about being a mistress either but people rarely will read the back to see
that, what they see is my pic as the mistress or other woman so it must be true.