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The Red Dancer

by Richard Skinner

I enjoyed the collection of narratives that build up to tell the fictionalised story of Mata Hari's life. Although I thought I would learn more about her, she remains an enigma both to the reader and to the characters in the book who each tell of their involvement with her.

Extract

When I had to give Mata Hari her instructions after she graduated from Lorrach, I realised she was a rather special case because she had already been in contact with many high-ranking military or public figures. I decided that she ought to resume her career as a vaudevillian so that she could be sent to various cities and continue being a courtesan for these men. We arranged many performances for her - Madrid, Milan, Monte Carlo - but mainly Paris, as that was where she was best known. Her situation was ideal. The pre-eminence of these men made it very difficult for the Allies to prove any allegations of Mata Hari's espionage activities.

Parallels

The True Life Fiction of Mata Hari by Diane Samuels
Wuthering Heights by Emily Bronte
 

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