Monday 7 October 2013

The Mistress Bookshelf: The Book of Courtesans by Susan Griffin

Words are powerful. Look at the word 'Mistress'. What do you think of when you hear it or read it?

That is why is important to investigate the meaning of words and they context and how they are and were used through different stages of history.

Courtesans, who were they? Were they prostitutes? Were they kept women? Are we still supposed to feel slightly uncomfortable with such terminology? Were they independent or  were they a mere adornment for a upper class man in a society indulging its citizens in debauchery and pleasure?

Susan Griffin explores the fascinating topic of the courtesan in Europe, from Italy's Renaissance to the France's Belle Epoque.

It is important to understand not only the roles women played to achieve notoriety, independence and to participate in society, but also the context in which they were allowed to proactively exercise influence as such.

The raw base for all questions regarding the role of women in any society and at any time could be thus: Is it a passive role? Is it empowered? Is it determined by the religious patriarchy? Is it instinctive, natural, coerced or already conquered?

The Book of Courtesans (2003) will definitely shine a light (and not a red glowing lamp kind of light) on society and its foundations as well as its underpinnings - as hidden and still tightly felt as the underpinnings of a lady's corset, and as such as eagerly to be removed.

And please support Independent Bookstores when buying your books!

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In this blog I intend to do some historical justice to the many, many women who have contributed with their genius, creativity, adventurous spirit, nurturing - amongst other qualities - to the apparent linear and male dominated prescribed notion of History. This is just the beggining.