A collection of biographies and autobiographies about women with strong, unique characters who followed their own inclinations and dreams.
Hellé Nice was a girl from the countryside who hit Paris with a bang as a nude model, dancer and cabaret performer, but when she caught the eye of Ettore Bugatti, car designer, she became the fastest race car driver on the track.
Muriel Siebert was known as the first woman of finance, and this was not in the nineteenth century but the twentieth: the first woman to own a seat on the New York Stock exchange; the first woman to head one of the New York Stock Exchange's member firms; the first woman Superintendent of Banking for the state of New York. In this autobiography she is candid, tough, and humorous about her own life and many of the people she worked with in the financial and political world.
Off-beat, elegant and original in dress, manner and speech, but with a very keen eye for new talent, Diana Vreeland was editor-in-chief of Vogue Magazine during the 1960's and resuscitated its image and sales.
A late-bloomer who did not find her true art until she was forty years old. Prior to that she was the object of affection for both Marcel Duchamp and Henri-Pierre Roche who based his novel, Jules and Jim, on this real-life ménage à trois. And Francois Truffaut based his film, Jules and Jim, on the novel.
Kay Thompson seemed to know just about everybody there was to know from the 1930s on until her death in 1998. She was an actress, singer, coach, writer,cabaret performer,first-class eccentric, godmother to Liza Minnelli and the creator of the stories about Eloise, the precocious wild-child who lived at The Plaza in New York City.
Francoise Gilot was a talented young artist when she met Pablo Picasso who was forty years her senior. She spent ten years with him, had two children and was the only woman to leave him.
In a style that is both scholarly and thoroughly enjoyable, Gerrmaine Greer presents a history, from the Renaissance through the nineteenth century, of women painters and the difficulties they confronted while pursuing their passion for art.
Tapert chose eleven actresses from Hollywood's golden period of the 1930's and 1940's and shows how each of them developed their own unique style outside of the movie studios' machines. She examines their lives and personalities and how each woman found what suited her best, but never at the expense of her image which embodied glamour. As Tapert says,"They had the ability to change the temperature of a room when they entered it. . ." and therefore had what was ". . . akin to glamour's original meaning: witchcraft."