Far from being servants or decorative accessories in court, ladies-in-waiting competed for real positions of power–and many succeeded in their goals, sometimes betraying their queens in the process. A few even became royal mistresses, such as the rapacious Lady Castlemaine who amassed a fortune and flaunted her hold over King Charles I. Drawing on a wide variety of primary sources, including the diaries of such shrewd onlookers as Lady Cowper and Fanny Burney, bestselling author Anne Somerset provides a guide to the character, profligate or pious, of each court. This lively combination of entertaining anecdote and searching analysis is social history at its most colorful.
…provides a wealth of juicy anecdotal material…–The New York Times
Richardson and Somerset here tackle the working girls of yore. Richardson’s 1967 volume tells the story of France’s 12 most notorious courtesans, while Somerset’s 1984 outing follows their English counterparts. Both present women who used sex to gain power and wealth. Copyright 2004 Reed Business Information.
Publish Date : 2004-02-01T00:00:01Z