Sun, 3 November 2013
What do we remember of Mata Hari?
A dancer? Yes. A spy? Yes, that too. But what else?
In this fast-pace biography, Pat Shipman provides a fascinating account of how Margaretha Zelle MacLeod, Dutch citizen, became Mata Hari, and how this led her to be executed at the end of World War One.
Was Mata Hari a likable character, a gorgeous woman victim of her circumstances? Or was she a vile manipulator, eager and able to use men to retrieve her only means of sustenance: money? Was she by far the most intelligent women of her time, or an mere opportunist?
For anyone who is not familiar with Mata Hari, this is a very good start and will give the reader a pretty good idea who she was, what she was all about, and why she is still remembered today, for better or for worse.