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Lost Art of the Seductress


Betsy Prioleau is author of The Seductress (Viking Press, 2003), about women who ravished the world through the lost art of love. Reviewed by David Bowmanat


April 04, 2004

Reading the review for this book, I was reminded of the quote from Jerry Hall when asked about the success of her relationship to Mick Jaeger: "I'm a maid in the living room, a cook in the kitchen and a whore in the bedroom". Well brava for Jerry. How many of us can aspire to such versatility?

I've decided to mail a copy of The Seductress to my 21-year-old daughter attending Berkeley, and a few of my  friends who might also find it useful. How many women do you meet these days who possess the sort of power and allure she's referring to? And you are not off the hook by simply succumbing to present fashion standards of the exposed navel. 

It's rather like comparing modern movies, with their abundant special effects and hyper-action, to the older flicks which build-up cinematic and sexual tension through scintilating dialogue and reparté. Oscar Wilde once said that charming people were always spoiled as youth—being spoiled was their charm. Betsy Prioleau has convinced me that what is missing in today's sexual scrimmages is a reclamation of the lost art of seduction.   

The Bait

by John Donne

Come live with me, and be my love,

And we will some new pleasures prove

Of golden sands, and crystal brooks

With silken lines and silver hooks.

Also In The Armament

Entre Nous: A Woman's Guide to Finding Her Inner FrenchWoman, Debra Olivier (St. Martin's Press, 2003) Find out what that je ne sais quoi those femmes de France have. A fun read.

The Lives of the Muses, Francine Prose (HarperCollins; 2002) "In a brilliant, wry, and provocative book, National Book Award finalist Francine Prose explores the complex relationship between the artist and his muse. In so doing, she illuminates with great sensitivity and intelligence the elusive emotional wellsprings of the creative process." Our forty to fifty-something aged book group read this and decided we would much rather be a muse in our younger years, and have a muse in our middle years!

The Book of the Courtesans, Susan Griffin (Broadway;2001)  "Courtesans... were not prostitutes nor even kept women, though certainly they used their sexuality to financial gain. Rather, they were personages and celebrities, friends to royalty and the most famous writers and artists of their time, the subjects of gossip, the charismatic epicenter of the Second Empire, the Gay Nineties, the Belle Epoche." Amazon Review

So spoil yourself and someone else in the process and learn the lost art of seduction.



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