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Monday, September 26, 2011

Review - The Book of the Courtesans by Susan Griffin

The book was an eye opener. I fell for the cover when I picked it up not really thinking that it would be more of a history lesson, with a bit of romance and politics thrown in. I enjoyed it much more than I thought I would.

The book gives one an indepth view of how women - very beautiful ones obviously - faced many obstacles ranging from grinding poverty, to an absolute lack of education to even in some cases the wrong accent where they had to actually learn to talk in not just a different style but with a totally different accent. Then there was the non formal education of etiquette and what to do when, where and to whom which seemed of paramount importance in France particularly.  These women were no empty headed bimbos - they were smart, talented, very clever - much cleverer than the men who were their partners.

Some of the men have gone down in history as figures of importance - Madame du Pompadour and Madame du Barry and Coco Chanel but there were others who were for me just names and those were the ones which caught my interest.

The book was slow paced for me - this is not a quick read and I do wish the illustrations could have been a bit more adventurous but the content of the story interested me well enough, specially since it is a topic I knew very little of.

Actually I have begun to realise that I do know very little and everyday is a learning experience!


Blodeuedd said...

Hm..I am pretty sure I have this cover on another book, must check

Sam (Tiny Library) said...

What an interesting sounding book - thanks for the recommendation :)

Teddyree said...

I knew very little about Madame du Barry until I read Becoming Marie Antoinette. I'd be keen to know more about other courtesans. This book sounds quite fascinating, I'll keep an eye out for it, thanks for the review Mystica