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Publisher's Summary

Comtesse Valtesse de la Bigne was painted by Édouard Manet and inspired Émile Zola, who immortalized her in his scandalous novel Nana. Her rumored affairs with Napoleon III and the future King Edward VII kept gossip columns full.

But her glamorous existence hid a dark secret: She was no comtesse. She was born into abject poverty, raised on a squalid backstreet among the dregs of Parisian society. Yet she transformed herself into an enchantress who possessed a small fortune, three mansions, fabulous carriages, and art the envy of connoisseurs across Europe. A consummate show-woman, she ensured that her life - and even her death - remained shrouded in just enough mystery to keep her audience hungry for more.

Spectacularly evoking the sights and sounds of mid- to late 19th-century Paris in all its hedonistic glory, Catherine Hewitt's biography tells, for the first time ever in English, the forgotten story of a remarkable woman who, though her roots were lowly, never stopped aiming high.

©2017 Catherine Hewitt (P)2017 Blackstone Audio, Inc.

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

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  • Overall

Loved, listened to it three times.

A strong, fascinating, brilliant, cunning and beautiful lady. Yes, I said lady. Would love to be a guest at her "five o'clocks."

1 of 2 people found this review helpful

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fascinating unknown history

thoroughly enjoyable segment, like a slice of ripe tangerine,of French history. this story, like many others in history has inspired further reading of the period.The 186p's-1910 much like the 1960's through 2010. Both times of extreme political and social import. change! always change.

1 of 2 people found this review helpful

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Fantastic story

Wonderful ! I enjoyed this book so much and recommend it to everyone interested in a great story of a woman with determination and style.

0 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • Performance
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Could Have Been Better, No Drama in the Narration

What other book might you compare The Mistress of Paris to and why?

One hundred years earlier in England, an identical story of Lady Emma Hamilton had taken place. I found that to be a much better listen. England's Mistress: The Infamous Life of Emma Hamilton, written by: Kate Williams. Or a fun 20th century con artisté, thief and sweetheart swindler purchase instead The Amazing Mrs. Livesey.

Was The Mistress of Paris worth the listening time?

It was better than the other dreary, boring books I had purchased.

0 of 1 people found this review helpful