Tag Archives: Mata Hari

Mata Hari: Seductress, Social Shocker, and Spy (II)

26 Nov
Postcard of Mata Hari in Paris

Postcard of Mata Hari in Paris

Seduction. Deception. Beauty. Destruction.

Thus continues the tale of the stunning, but tragic, figure remembered as Mata Hari. When last we left her, Mata was at the peak of her career as one of the most famous courtesans the world has ever seen.  Her risqué dancing and exotic appearance were only part of her appeal. As with the stars of today, scandal only made her more popular; such as her role in a love triangle that resulted in one of her lovers killing another lover (1). Yes, Mata had a string of men falling at her feet; her affairs would stretch across France, Holland, Russia, and Germany.  She gave them her attention and body; in return, she received jewels, clothes, expensive housing, and other such elaborate gifts (2,1).  It seemed a blessed life to Mata, whose love of presents and shopping was matched solely by her need for attention.

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Mata Hari: Seductress, Social Shocker, and Spy (I)

20 Nov

Postcard of Mata Hari in Paris

Passion. Intrigue. Brilliance. Power.

A woman made infamous by the international scandal of her 1917 trial and subsequent execution, Mata Hari fully embodies William Shakespeare’s statement that “God has given you one face, and you make yourself another.”  Many people still remember the legends left by Mata Hari’s supposed treachery during WWI, her storied life as a spy, and her resulting death by firing squad.  But few know that she was  not always a woman of famed beauty, known for her ability to shock and awe.  Rather, her story was quite different at the beginning . . . in a small town in the Netherlands.

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