Wednesday, August 17, 2011

The Ones That Got Away

When my agent called to tell me that we had sold Scandalous Women to Perigee, I couldn’t have been more ecstatic. This was a dream come true for me after almost a decade of writing, but now came the hard part, what women would make it into the book? The book needed to be a mix of women that people were familiar with, but also women who for whatever reason were not as well known. My initial list consisted of forty women. Unfortunately due to that pesky word count, some of them had to end up on the cutting room floor. Here are five of the women who unfortunately got away.

Isabella, Queen Consort to Edward II (1295-1358): called the She-Wolf of France by her enemies, this strong-willed Queen refused to play second fiddle to her husband Edward II’s male lovers who were showered not only with gifts and but with power. Aided by her lover, Roger de Mortimer, she stole the throne from her husband for her son, and possibly ordered the murder of her husband as well.

Belle Starr (1848-1889): The daughter of a wealthy innkeeper who was ruined by the Civil War, she developed a reputation as the "Bandit Queen" of the Old West, hobnobbing with some of the most famous outlaws of her day such as Jesse James and Cole Younger. Although homely, she had a sense of style, riding while wearing a black velvet gown and a plumed hat. However, her bad taste in men led her into a life of crime. Ambushed by an unknown assailant, her foolish choices left her dying alone in the dust. But her sensational legend soon began to take shape in the dime-novel westerns of the era.

Veronica Franco (1546-1591): The daughter of a courtesan, this dangerous beauty followed in her mother’s footsteps, becoming the toast of Venice not just with her body but by her wit and skill in debating at a time when most women were illiterate. She quickly rose to consort with some of the leading notables of her day and even entranced the future King Henry III of France, who only wanted to meet her on his visit to Venice. A noted poet, Veronica used her poems to argue in support of defenseless women. She later managed to survive charges of witchcraft brought by the Inquisition. Veronica's insight into the age-old conflicts between men and women and her awareness of the threat she posed to men is what makes her so pertinent today

Anna Nicole Smith (1967–2007): This bodacious Texan remade herself into the centerfold of the world. She was a "dumb blonde," a stripper, a Playboy Playmate, who boldly took her case against her billionaire husband's family all the way to the U.S. Supreme Court. Her tragic life and untimely death still evoke an odd mix of fascination, shock, and dismay four years later.

Queen Christina of Sweden (1626-1689): The eccentric crossing dressing Queen who gave up her throne for freedom. Raised by her father as a more of a Prince than a Princess, Christina inherited the throne after her father’s death at the age of 6. During her ten years on the throne, Christina absolutely refused to marry despite pressure to fulfill her duty to give Sweden an heir. She secretly converted to Catholicism which contributed to her decision to abdicate. The rest of her life was spent in France and Rome, where she was buried in St. Peter's Basilica. Her complex character has inspired numerous plays, books, and operatic works since her death including the 1933 MGM film Queen Christina starring the luminous Greta Garbo.

Hopefully, these women will end up in another book one day or here on Scandalous Women.


CharmedLassie said...

I hope they do. You supplied just enough information there to intrigue a fair bit!

Elizabeth Kerri Mahon said...

You will definitely see these ladies either here on the blog or in my next book!