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Books: Pat Shipman - Femme Fatale

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Pat Shipman
Femme Fatale:
Love, Lies, and the Unknown Life of Mata Hari

William Morrow, 2007

450 pages, several b&w images;
English language

Among the plenty of books and biographies about Mata Hari, Pat Shipman's book is one of the best researched and most reliable one. As much as possible, she includes original texts from letters, newspapers, magazines or documents and doesn't get lost in speculation or creating new myths. In contrary to the book of Kupferman, Shipman gives more attention to Margaretha Zelle's adolescence and early life in far east after her young marriage with John Mac Leod. She also provides authentic references and critics about her career as the exotic oriental dancer Mata Hari in european metropoles like Paris, Madrid, Vienna and Berlin.
On the other side it is a little disappointing, that a biography published in 2007 doesn't mention any new informations from the last decades about documents from German World War I intelligence, like i.e. the Gempp-report or Russian documents about the head of the German intelligence, Colonel Walter Nicolai, which provide important details about the role of Mata Hari as a spy for German intelligence with the code name H 21.

 

Pat Shipman - Femme fatale - Mata Hari

 

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