In the late nineteenth century an extraordinary breed of new journalists appeared on the scene in America. The world had seen nothing like them before. They were young, feisty, courageous and iconoclastic – and they were women.
Madame Rachel promised her clients that she would make them ‘Beautiful For Ever!’ But what they found inside her beguiling oriental boudoir with its latticed screens, lavish oriental wall hangings, splashing fountain and heavy crimson drapes, was something far darker…
“Since our men are hesitating to fight, the women must show them how to die for their country and for liberty…” In May, in Petrograd, Mariya Bochkareva held a mass recruitment rally for the Women’s Death Battalion.
Lenin had no qualms whatsoever in ruthlessly exploiting the loyalty of the women who formed his essential back up team. He wore them all ragged in the cause of his own political ends.
The story of the extraordinary journey I went on, in search of Mary Seacole – a journey that brought me to her lost portrait that now hangs in London’s National Portrait Gallery.