Picture of author.
7+ Works 570 Membros 12 Críticas

About the Author

Judith Mackrell is a celebrated dance critic, writing first for The Independent and now for The Guardian. Her biography of the Russian Ballerina Lydia Lopokova, Bloomsbury Ballerina, was short-listed for the Costa Biography Award. She has also appeared on television and radio, and is the coauthor mostrar mais of The Oxford Dictionary of Dance. She lives in London with her family. mostrar menos

Includes the name: Judith Mackrell

Image credit: Judith Mackrell

Obras por Judith Mackrell

Associated Works

Royal Ballet : Woolf Works : 2022/23 [programme] (2023) — Contribuidor — 1 exemplar


Conhecimento Comum



The palazzo in question is the Palazzo Venier dei Leoni, and the book discusses three women who owned it at various times: Luisa Casati, Doris Castlerosse, and Peggy Guggenheim.

Quite an interesting trio. Casati came from an extremely wealthy family, married a marquess from whom she later separated, and was known for taking her pet cheetah along in her gondola. Her life was her art.

Doris Castlerosse came from a middle-class family, but was determined to become rich and social. Her path to that was to become a "professional mistress", though she later made a rather unfortunate marriage. She had quite the variety of lovers, including Cecil Beaton (!!!) and Winston Churchill. But it was a woman who bought the palazzo for her. She lived there only briefly, however, leaving Venice with the onset of World War II, and never returning.

Peggy Guggenheim had a difficult childhood, not helped by her father's death in the sinking of the Titanic, and, like the others, had lousy taste in men. She became, of course, a great patron of modern art, and the palazzo is now the Peggy Guggenheim Collection. Her ashes (and her dogs) are buried in the garden.
… (mais)
lilithcat | 2 outras críticas | Oct 29, 2023 |
MarthaJeanne | 8 outras críticas | Jan 28, 2023 |
Is it possible to be both ambitious and balanced?

The answer is yes, of course it is; there are manifold examples of men and women who have achieved great things while maintaining balanced, rational lives.

Reading books like Flappers though, one can't be blamed for wondering. No doubt that the more outrageous lives make more exciting reading, but as seems always the case after reading these omnibus biographies, I'm left with the feeling that these women - who inarguably achieved great things in the face of extraordinary obstacles - are not the ones we should be holding up as shining examples of success. At least Flappers doesn't outright label them as heroines as one similar recently published book hailed its subjects.

But boy, does the outrageous make for delicious reading (if you can overlook the numerous and egregious copy-editing errors). These women were rebellious, emotionally starved, unstable sometimes to the point of madness, and ambitious. Their determination and stubbornness were admirable, if their lack of moral compass was not. I'm not referring here, by the way, to their collective sexual escapades, of which I can only sit back and applaud with awe. It's more the way they all believed, no matter how humble or grand their beginnings, that the rules didn't apply to them.

About the only woman I came out of this admiring was Josephine Baker. While her compass most certainly did not point north, the author seems to chalk up some of this to naivety and ignorance (although I'm pretty sure she knew bigamy was a no-go and just didn't care). Diana Cooper might have also made it to a happy old age, but Josephine showed the most ability to adapt, to learn, to grow, and to do it all without seeming to compromise her dignity.

Take all this with a grain of salt, of course; condensed biographies like these are necessarily incomplete and leave out a lot of details that might change the reader's perspective, but the writing is engaging and Mackrell manages to connect all five women's lives into a relatively cohesive narrative. The women themselves do the rest.
… (mais)
murderbydeath | 8 outras críticas | Jan 22, 2022 |
All things considered, I admire these women who lived their lives with passion and intensity – what more can any of us hope to achieve?

PennyMck | 2 outras críticas | Nov 18, 2020 |



You May Also Like

Associated Authors


Also by

Tabelas & Gráficos