London: Bloomsbury, 1999, (First Edition) Hardback in dust wrapper.
From the cover: Although at the end of the twentieth century society still behaves as if marital infidelity were some unfathomable aberration, the fact is that the mistress has existed since the beginning of time.
Mythology abounds in mistresses both divine and mortal some who have played their roles cunningly and to perfection, and some who have destroyed themselves and all around them. Famous mistresses have not only graced literature but have written it. George Eliot, Rebecca West, Simone de Beauvoir and Jean Rhys have been mistresses. Courtesans have been a feature of royal courts throughout history.
Victoria Griffin brings her steady yet startling focus on to each arena with fascinating consequences. She considers the political mistress from Megan Lloyd George to Sara Keays to Monica Lewinsky; the writers mistress the women who had affairs with Albert Camus, H. G. Wells and Ford Madox Ford; and the artists mistress amongst others, Rodins mistresses Camille Claudel and Gwen John. She examines how the roles of wife and mistress come about, how each may threaten the other, or may co-exist.
It is a subject as rich and diverse as history itself, alive with memorable characters, whims and needs, secrets and practicalities, rational and irrational behaviour. Griffin a mistress herself handles her material deftly, revealingly and eloquently. Challenging and original, Victoria Griffins The Mistress will provoke and delight in equal measure.
Very Good in Very Good Dust Wrapper.
Black boards with Silver titling to the Spine. 320 pages. Bibliography. 9½” x 6¼”.