Glamorised, mythologised, and demonised - the women of the 1920s were determined to reinvent the way they lived.
Flappers focuses on six women who between them exemplified the range and daring of that generation's spirit. Diana Cooper, Nancy Cunard, Tallulah Bankhead, Zelda Fitzgerald, Josephine Baker and Tamara de Lempicka were far from typical flappers.
Talented, reckless, and wilful, with personalities that transcended their class and background, they rewrote their destinies in remarkable, entertaining and tragic ways.
©2013 Judith Mackrell (P)2013 W F Howes Ltd
Looking back from the modern world it's difficult how radically women's lives changed between the beginning and end of the first world war. Judith Mackrell does a fine job of illustrating the shift through the lives of a small number of very different women through the 1920's and beyond in a wildly entertaining story of can-do gals in the latest fashions struggling to make careers for themselves during the fall of Russia, the roaring 20's and into the great depression. We get Tamara De Lempka arriving in Paris as a refugee before establishing herself as a hugely successful painter. Nancy Cunard abandoning a privelaged life in search of creative experession. Josephine Baker escaping bigotry and poverty in the U.S. to become a hugely successful dance in Paris and Zelda FitzGerald dazzling New York society as half of an incredibly glamorous couple with husband Scott. I found this fascinating just as a retelling of interesting lives but it also offers absorbing pictures of life in Left Bank Paris, the 1920's boom in America and the strange, stultifying world of the English upper classes as the empire began to fade.
The mass of rich detail which made every session full of new information for me.
The variety provided by the 6 different women.
The scathing verdict on Ernest Hemingway delivered by Zelda Fitzgerald.
The depth behind the ditz.
I heard a review of this book on Womens hour but it was much better than I expected and I cannot recommend it highly enough.
"Sheds light on otherwise forgotten women in histor"
This is a great audiobook for those interested in women's history, the progression of sexuality in 1920s America, the context for literature/film that was being produced at the time, and for those looking to get to know icons of American glamour, style, and fashion. The section on Josephine Baker is especially inspiring and eye-opening.
Julia Franklin's clarity of voice is exceptional and passively lures the reader back into the old world.
"1920s Icons of Sexuality, Glamour, and Fame"
Great read/listen for historical context of 1920s pop culture!
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