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Scandalous Women: The Lives and Loves of History's Most Notorious Women Paperback – March 1, 2011


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Scandalous Women: The Lives and Loves of History's Most Notorious Women + A Treasury of Royal Scandals: The Shocking True Stories History's Wickedest, Weirdest, Most Wanton Kings, Queens, Tsars, Popes, and Emperors + Notorious Royal Marriages: A Juicy Journey Through Nine Centuries of Dynasty, Destiny,and Desire
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 320 pages
  • Publisher: Perigee Trade (March 1, 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0399536450
  • ISBN-13: 978-0399536458
  • Product Dimensions: 5.6 x 0.7 x 8.3 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 10.4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (39 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #229,314 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Review

While many of the facts surrounding these lives are familiar, Mahon weaves page-turner narratives from her passion and affection for these spectacular but often misrepresented women.
---Bookpage

Elizabeth Kerri Mahon's Scandalous Women is an invaluable resource of women's studies, pulling back the curtain of embellishment (often woven by the woman being studied herself) to reveal the stark (sometimes literally!) truth behind some of the greatest women of history -- from ancient pillars like Cleopatra and Boudica to more contemporary glass-ceiling shatterers like Amelia Earhart and Gertrude Bell. Perhaps the best I can say is that Elizabeth Kerri Mahon's work is a magnet for the mind, an education for the misinformed, and scandalously delicious. Very recommended.
---The Trades

There are sexual shenanigans here, to be sure, but also plenty of wonderful portraits of women responsible for major events in history – whether directly or through the men who, thinking themselves the controllers, were in fact the ones being controlled.
---InfoDad

Overall, history lite—a very readable flyby of some notables in women’s history.
---Bethany Latham, Historical Novel Society


I was entranced by Scandalous Women from page one, and it didn’t let lose its hold on me until I had reached the end . . . If you are looking for entertainment as well as facts that will turn many of your preconceived notions inside out, then this is the book for you. Ms. Mahon has done a wonderful job telling the stories of important women throughout history.
---Book Wenches

About the Author

Elizabeth Kerri Mahon is the author of the blog Scandalous Women. Mahon is a member of the Historical Novel Society, the Victorian Society of America, Romance Writers of America and RWA NYC, where she has served as president for the past four years. She is also a professional actress and has played virgins and vixens in everything from Shaw to Shakespeare.

More About the Author

Elizabeth Kerri Mahon is a native New Yorker and unabashed history geek. While other kids were reading Dr. Seuss, she would read history books for fun, but the more she studied history, the more she wanted to know about the women who made it, only to find that the section in her school library was rather slim. Still she persevered, reading everything she could get her hands on including the historical fiction of such authors Anya Seton, Taylor Caldwell and Victoria Holt. The result of her research is the blog Scandalous Women (http://scandalouswoman.blogspot.com), launched in the fall of 2007 to an audience eager to discover some of history's most fascinating and flagrant women.

Since its inception, Scandalous Women has averaged over ten thousand hits a month, and was named one of the 100 Most Awesome Blogs for History Junkies by Best Colleges.com. Regularly syndicated on History Carnival, she is a member of the Historical Novel Society, The Victorian Society of America, RWA and RWA NYC, where she served as President for four years.

A pop-culture diva, Elizabeth has written for the popular quiz site Reward TV.com. She is also a professional actress who has played virgins and vixens in everything from Shaw to Shakespeare.

Customer Reviews

All in all, an interesting and fun book to read.
Kenneth R. Knight
I am used to reading things a bit more formally written.
Donald Cripe
I'm getting copies of this book for several friends.
MP129

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

13 of 14 people found the following review helpful By adorian on June 26, 2012
Format: Paperback
I started out disliking the author's tone. The first chapter starts with Cleopatra, and there's nothing new. It's just old recycled material that we already know. But the author tries to liven things up with snarky slang and silly attempts at humor. But as the chapters progressed and we moved from women we know too much about (Mata Hari, Joan of Arc, Anne Boleyn) to some women I'd never heard of, I started liking what I was reading about the lesser-known women who deserve more fame, despite the bizarre attempts at modern snark.

She has people "kicking butt." People are "pissed off." Someone "grew some balls." Someone is a "party animal." Someone is "one taco short of a combination platter." Henry VIII could have been the centerfold in "Hot Renaissance Princes." In the section on F. Scott Fitzgerald and Zelda, the author tells us they were the Spencer Pratt and Heidi Montag of the Jazz Age. (No, that is just not true.)

And her statement that Isadora Duncan "danced to classical music before it became the norm in ballet" should have been rephrased so that it made sense and was true.

There are the usual typos and errors of grammar that one finds in current books. (Does no one learn about avoiding dangling modifiers anymore?) It took a few seconds to realize "grain an audience" was not another failed attempt at a pun, but was just a typo.

If you are looking for a few women who have not received the credit they deserve, skim through this book. If you want to avoid silly attempts at humor, avoid this book at all costs.
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12 of 13 people found the following review helpful By Man of La Book on May 6, 2011
Format: Paperback
"Scan­dalous Women: The Lives and Loves of History's Most Noto­ri­ous Women" by Eliz­a­beth Kerri Mahon is a non-fiction book ded­i­cated to... scan­dalous women. Each woman is fea­tured in a short bio­graph­i­cal chap­ter.

The book is divided into seven sec­tions. Each sec­tion is fur­ther divided into short chap­ters fea­tur­ing a short biog­ra­phy of a scan­dalous woman.

Sec­tion 1: War­rior Queens
Cleopa­tra, Boudica, Eleanor of Aquitaine, Joan of Arc, Grace O'Malley

Sec­tion 2: Way­ward Wives
Émilie du Châtelet, Lady Car­o­line Lamb, Jane Digby, Vio­let Tre­fu­sis, Zelda Fitzgerald

Sec­tion 3: Scin­til­lat­ing Seduc­tresses
Anne Boleyn, Bar­bara Palmer, Emma Hamil­ton, Lola Mon­tez, Mata hari

Sec­tion 4: Cru­sad­ing Ladies
Anne Hutchin­son, Mary Woll­stonecraft, Rose O'Neal Green­how, Ida B. Wells-Barnett, Carry Nation

Sec­tion 5: Wild Women of the West
Mary Ellen Pleas­ant, Sarah Win­nemucca, Calamity Jane, Eliz­a­beth "Baby Doe" Tabor, Mar­garet Tobin Brown

Sec­tion 6: Amorous Artists
Camille Claudel, Isadora Dun­can, Josephine Baker, Bil­lie Hol­i­day, Frida Kahlo

Sec­tion 7: Amaz­ing Adven­turesses
Anne Bon­ney and Mary Read, Lady Hes­ter Stan­hope, Anna Leonowens, Gertrude Bell, Amelia Earhart

So you're think­ing :"what is a book­ish blog run by a man doing with this book"?
I'll tell you: it is knowl­edge not uncom­mon that scan­dalous women (most of them any­way) are a favorite sub­ject among men of many cul­tures and intel­lects - that's what!

"Scan­dalous Women" by Eliz­a­beth Kerri Mahon is the kind of book I loved as a young boy.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Kenneth R. Knight on April 6, 2011
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
SCANDALOUS WOMEN by Elizabeth Kerri Mahon is an excellent to-the-point historical piece of work detailing the lives, loves, and infamy of some of history's famous femmes such as Cleopatra and Mata Hari WITHOUT boring the hell out the reader!
I wish History-101 was as much fun as this book is.
Well written without dull reference-diving, this book highlights some women who made history but have not been candidly written about until now. I like lots of photos, but alas...most of the women profiled in this book lived in times before the camera was invented! :)
Ms. Mahon knows how to weave an interesting yarn in describing her "Scandalous Women" and after reading this book in just over an hour, I want a sequel!!
Might I suggest Mae West, Ilsa Koch, or Jayne Mansfield for the next edition?? All in all, an interesting and fun book to read.
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11 of 13 people found the following review helpful By Great Historicals on March 20, 2011
Format: Paperback
By the author of The Blighted Troth

Scandalous Women (The Lives and Loves of History's Most Notorious Women)
Elizabeth Kerri Mahon

Scandalous Women is a delightful book containing the biographies of some of the most fascinating women of history. Keeping true to the title and subtitle, the stories within this book's pages kept me entertained for hours.
As soon as I flipped open the book and read the table of contents, I was immediately intrigued. The book is divided into seven categories:

Warrior Queens
Wayward Wives
Scintillating Seductresses
Crusading Ladies
Wild Women of the West
Amorous Artists
Amazing Adventuresses

The chapter titles alone beckoned me to read further. And I was not disappointed. Within each of these chapters, the bios of 35 different women were beautifully written - full of detail, not too long, and told in a quippy voice that kept me entertained from start to finish. Her use of humour is what made these bios stand out from the realm of other similar books on the market. Some women, like Cleopatra and Eleanor of Aquitaine, I was well acquainted with. But there were numerous others, lesser known female heroines in the annals of history, whose lives were revealed to me for the very first time like Lady Caroline Lamb, Rose Greenhow, and Frida Kahlo.

Each biography gave a full and detailed accounting of their lives without being tedious or boring to read. In fact, the opposite is true. The more I read, the more I wanted to learn about the next woman, and the next woman, and the woman after that.
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