Wednesday, June 13, 2018


Image result for new book coco chanel  sleeping with the enemy

Coco and the Baron, who was called "Spatz," had a liaison of a decade duration and she seems to have chosen love over politics.

In 1944 when Paris was liberated the women who were known to have slept with Nazi/German soldiers during the time in which it was occupied were dragged through the streets, had their heads shaved to embarrass them, and worse.  Chanel was brought to the FFI headquarters for questioning but was released quickly, according the author Vaughan, due to the intercession of Winston Churchill.  She and Churchill had been friends for thirty years at that point, and he saved her from trial as a German collaborator. She was 61 to Dincklages' 48, and after the questioning she went to Switzerland, a neutral country, to meet up with him.

In 1946 the French Court of Justice issued a warrant to bring Chanel back to France for questioning, but not because of her Nazi spy lover.  This time she was accused of collaboration with a French traitor to give information to Germany military intelligence.  She denied all accusations and the author states that at that time the extent of her involvement was unknown, implying that if they had known she would not have been let to go.

Was the nickname CoCo based on  the French word Cocotte, for Kept Woman?  Well, she had been.  Born in 1883 as one of six children living in peasant poverty, by 1895 when her mother died and then abandoned by her father, she was raised by nuns where she learned discipline and frugality.  Her need to survive after leaving the nunnery lead her to singing in a cabaret to becoming,at 23, the Mistress of wealthy Etienne Balsan.  For three years she lived with him without marriage, learned to ride horses and the ways of the wealthy.  Following this relationship, CoCo spent eleven years with Arthur "Boy" Chapel beginning in 1908, so from approximately age 25 to age 36.  Neither man could or would marry her.  So no doubt CoCo had been a Kept Woman.

During the World War I era she lived in a Paris apartment.  Boy married (but still kept CoCo as a lover). He was the love of her life but as a result of his death in 1920 in a traffic accident she learned by the bequests in his will that he also had an Italian countess as a Mistress.  It is unstated in the book but clearly there was thus more to his choice of bride than class if he also kept an Italian countess!

CoCo had also made a best friend of Misia, Marie Sophie Olga Zenaide Godebska, who had come to London at 18 and had a series of trysts with older men.  Misia inherited a large sum of money at age 20.  These two bonded as unconventional artists and it is implied might have enjoyed a lesbian relationship or been two cougars out looking for men.
CoCo meanwhile had diversified.  Despite all her hard work, talent, and enterprise in fashion it took hiring a perfumer to invent for her approval and her own promotion a perfume, Chanel No. 5 to become a truly wealthy woman in her own right.  It was enough that in 1918 she paid 300,000 gold francs to buy her villa at Biarritz. By 1920 she had enough money to become a patron of the arts and to buy a house in Paris.

Her meeting with the Baron was likely at her Villa or nearby.  He had German aristocracy and military officers in his heritage and was against Communism.  He is said to have become a spy by 1919, the World War I era, long before World War II.  Spatz "used men and seduced women without mercy" He was "urbane and well mannered", multilingual, had a warm personality but was not an Aryan playboy. He wore the diplomats cloak of immunity.  No one was in physical danger around him. (chapter 2 page 32 of 112+)

Meanwhile, the author characterizes CoCo in the 1920's as always on the prowl for male conquests and lists them. One of them, poet Piere Rverdy, was one she loved and provided material assistance to so that he could go on writing.  He and CoCo had a "deep friendship" of 40 years.  She also had a liaison with Russian Grand Duke Dmitre Paulovich, a contender for the Russian throne, who, like other lovers, inspired her fashion designs, in his case her "Slavic Period."  He helped her launch Chanel No. 5 perfume in 1921 when it was promoted as the luxury perfume, with its very complicated formulation that included chemicals not from natural floral sources.  It was made by the Pierre Wertheimer Company in large enough batches to meet demand.  The author contends that she was nonchalant or reckless to do business with them or acting while in depression over the end of an affair... I bring this all up because while the question of CoCo Chanel as a woman living for love and around lovers rather than an astute business woman is suggested by the author, I see that she may actually have enjoyed multiple and ongoing relationships - been poly-amorous.  Was she aggressive and canny?  Simply determined to infiltrate society, even though rejected as a potential wife due to her birth as a peasant?  Bisexual or experimental?  Was her upset at the Wertheimer's unreasonable but attributed to "ant-Semitism"?  Her perfume was a worldly success but it was not until 20 years had gone by and the World War II era that she realized she'd been screwed by them and yes, once she got mad she would not stop saying so.
And now she was also supposed to be homophobic?
And a long time user of morphine?  Doping herself up to party?  While she had 300+ employees and a business to run - and save?

As previously stated, the condemnation of CoCo in this book made me question it as an unbalanced reportage determined to condemn her as a Nazi collaborator with the only excuse for her behavioir being her need for a man in her life.  However, would Winston Churchill, the man said to have been instrumental in Britain's involvement in the War and salvation of it, really have stuck his neck out to save her just because they were friends?  Is that something you would do for a friend if you knew they were going to be outed on the world stage for behavior acceptable at one time (at least among a minority) that is now not politically correct?
Many people in the 1930's and 1940's felt that Russian Communism was to be feared.  The Russian Revolution had left Europe scared. Other countries did not want a revolution or hordes overrunning their country on the way out of Communism.  In occupied countries during World War II, and probably every war that ever was, there were diverse opinions that went unspoken because people were just too afraid.  Just like in a typical corporation.
This book has left me wondering about all the women who are liberal Democrats in love with stalwart Republican men who basically avoid political discussions and focus on happy domesticity and the home as a refuge from the world.  It has also made me wonder if the long dead Chanel's company has been currently targeted by people who don't want Jewish women to buy the clothes or the perfume.

C 2018 Book Report/Review  Mistress Manifesto BlogSpot  All Rights Reserved.

Thursday, June 7, 2018


If you want to commit yourself to a man, heck, if you even want to date him, first make sure he is a gentleperson.

One day I went to the store down the street to pick up just a few small items and when I got there I encountered one of those unexpected sales you can't resist.  I figured I'd manage to walk home with my purchases which were more bulky and awkward than heavy.  However, I soon enough realized I was struggling to keep holding onto the plastic bags that were slipping out of my grip.

On this walk home I encountered three men, all neighbors who I had met and talked to a few times, none actual friends.

One of them yelled across the street at me, "Why didn't you get a cart?"  And kept walking.  His tone was critical and he was totally unhelpful and in my area one does not leave a lot with a cart.

The next man saw me and kept walking without saying anything to me, just waved.

The next man came up to me and said, "Can I help you with your packages?"

Guess which one is a GENTLEMAN?

OK, so basically women, men have, even as little boys sometimes, sought to be HELPFUL to a woman who is struggling with packages, could be helped by opening or holding a door, or other small efforts.  (Even offering to carry your grade school books home!) If a man is attracted to or interested in a woman he may actually look for the opportunity to make efforts to help her just to be noticed by her. So men, if you are interested in a woman and you notice that she could use a little help, doing so may just be what makes her interested in you.

I wanted to find out more about these three men.

One of them has always worked but of late had been through a few that he quit rather than have a new boss try to train him a new way.  He was divorced and had supported his children but had no one special in his life.  Previously he had flirted with me.

Another of them lost his business after the building he was established in was slated for tear down and was temporarily living in his RV which is not uncommon in my area.  He had never been married and was without any children to support but had been, I learned some time later, in many relationships through the years.  It's not that being NMNK (never married no kids) is indicative of anything wrong with a person.  It's a choice.  Let's just say that in his case he might have wanted to be free of responsibility.

The one who offered to help me was married, had two children, was working full time and going to school at night to slowly earn his Masters so he could get a better job and support all of them better.  Yes, he is the one that offered help, and as he was not interested in me he was doing so because he is nice and not to impress me enough to go out with him.

Women, a man offering you a little help like this does not damage your independence or feminism.
This is about a person offering another person aid, being helpful and kind.  You too can be a GENTLEPERSON.
There is nothing wrong with testing the men you have in your life, as neighbors, associates, co-workers, and friends, as lovers, boyfriends, by asking them for some needed help around the house or some other effort and seeing what their response is.  Then you can decide which ones are KEEPERS!


Saturday, June 2, 2018


Image result for new book coco chanel  sleeping with the enemy
*A version of the book is subtitled "Nazi Agent" Was her
"Secret War" to keep her business?
Gabriella "CoCo" Chanel
1882 - 1971

In June of 2011, I elected CoCo Chanel, as Mistress of the Month.  Here she is again, this time as a possible spy for Nazi Germany. She grew up in a convent where she'd been left as a child when her mother died by a father who didn't want his children.  Her way out of being the equivalent of a foster child who had to make it alone was to sing for her supper, and become a Mistress. Lovers financed her attempts at business, as a hat maker and then as a revolutionary and renown fashion designer who became wealthy from sales of her signature perfume Chanel  No. 5 and had over 2500 employees, mostly women, when the Nazis took over Paris.  She never had a marriage or children herself, but she was generous to her family, the education of her sister's children.  She also is known to have financed men she was interested in, having achieved independence and unusual success "for a woman."
Chanel succeeded through enterprise and creativity, and though she rose up in society to have both the exiled Duke of Windsor and his wife, the Duchess Wallis Simpson, and hero Winston Churchill as friends.
The author of this book, Hal Vaughan, exposes her relationship with spy Baron Hans Gunther Von Dincklage, called Spatz, and we wonder how much did she know. I don't believe she ever forgot what it was to be impoverished, orphaned, or living in the class system that made men choose more suitable well born women as wives.  But consider CoCo often said and was quoted as believing that it was essential for a woman to have a man in her life, to be in love, to love.  She had many disappointments and heartbreaks before she ever met Spatz, a charming younger man living in the South of France, with a half Jewish wife, who came across as more Upper Crust English than German.  She was in her fifties and he in his forties when they became involved.

As you may know from reading my blog, I read every book I feature from cover to cover, and in the last year or so have been reading some books as audio books. Doing so has opened the time I have to read and I especially love it when an author reads their own work.  However, I must tell you upfront that this book as an audio book was a total turn off.  The woman reader (Why when the author is a man?) had such condemnation of CoCo in her sneering attitude and intonations that I couldn't bear to continue to listen to her.  It gave the impression that this "International Best Seller" existed condemn and give an unbalanced account of CoCo.  I winced hearing this aggressively negative voice.
I decided to give reading the old fashioned text a try, and found this was a story that built and had much research to it.  But I was not swayed to the point that I might think that CoCo should have been tried as a war criminal just because while designing costumes very briefly in Hollywood in 1931 (including Gloria Swanson) that she noticed it was run by Jews. 

That Hollywood films were and are made by Jewish people, particular male studio heads was in fact true in her era (and still is dominated by Jewish people), and perhaps this truth spoken is misinterpreted as Anti-Semitism.  For if she really were, would she have lent her name?  Or is it being implied that she herself was just greedy and irresponsible to her contract? If she was truly anti-Semitic then she probably would have not accepted the commission from a Jewish studio boss. She was paid very well - a million - but didn't need the money. If truly anti-Semetic she probably would not have made a deal on her perfume with a Jewish company in the first place. (Her costumes were not successful and she considered Hollywood too glittery and false.)
Nor do I ever find convincing generalizations that Catholics and Christians were raised to believe that Jews killed Jesus.  I never heard that personally from any pulpit or in school or out of the mouth of anyone I knew; some people may have thought that but then they are ignorant of the Roman-occupied culture during Jesus' time.
That she felt ripped off by the Jewish-owned perfume company that made most of the profit on her perfume, is true.  She legally battled with them but eventually let them buy her out, so to speak.  She might have done so of any business partner. In a 1924 deal to have her perfume produced to meet great demand, she soon felt swindled and spent the next 25 years saying so, but her perfume is what provided her most of her wealth.
What I wanted was the cold hard facts of CoCo's involvement with Nazi's sans the Baron. Can be believe he admitted to her that he was a spy and asked her to work with him? That the Baron was a special man to her as a woman, that's where CoCo may have been played.  He was known to be a seducer.  He was there in the South of France to infiltrate society that lived there, as did CoCo live some of the time.  He was there to report on Naval operations. That was his secret job. Frankly if I knew someone had married a Jewish or half-Jewish woman I would not assume they were a Nazi.
It's also that she may have played him and others with one objective which may sound selfish, but that is to survive as her world crumbled around her, to continue her business that she had to shut down and leave, to keep her employees, to continue to help her family.  When she finally got out of Paris before the occupation, her employees mostly having fled to the countryside, people starving and in the streets, in bitter cold without heat, it was to her family that she fled.  So what if she could afford a chauffer and a Rolls Royce?  Wasn't she just as entitled to be afraid for her life?

And so if we focus on what the author dug up about the Baron, who was no doubt a spy for Nazi Germany, we can start there. 
In the 1930's CoCo was worth in today's money about $230 million dollars. In the mid 1930's Adolph Hitler's second in command, Joseph Goebbels - who controlled all media - approved Baron Hans Gunther Von Dincklage as a special attaché to the German Embassy in Paris.  French intelligence as well as Swiss intelligence was watching him.  He was part of a "cell" of several hundred Nazi intelligence people in France.  But intelligence may have been keeping an eye on the Baron while CoCo may have been one of many kept ignorant - at least for a while. The Baron's wealth was not close to hers.  He was set up and being paid by Germany.

In Paris the Ritz Hotel became an island of wealth where the elite people moved to live as if there were no war.  Chanel lived there as well as having a workspace and apartment across the street from the back door. The author makes the case that Chanel and some of her dear friends were morphine addicts for much of their lives, and that Chanel used the drug due to the depression she felt when yet another man she loved died suddenly - though this is repeated in the book as fact, it didn't seem to be substantiated, however, let's accept it and think "OK she had weaknesses."
During World War I, one tenth of French men died fighting.  No one wanted to believe another World War would begin but in 1939 when panic hit Paris, there were no taxis, no telephones, and 4 million French fled south, often on foot, ahead of the German army.  By then a lot of people were sorting through garbage cans outside of restaurants to solve their hunger pangs.

Dincklage divorced his wife Maximiliane a few months before the Nuremberg laws of 1934 deprived her of her citizenship.  No one knows for sure when Chanel met Dincklage, but he was married then and he did not divorce for CoCo but to be in compliance with the Nazi regime according to the author.  She testified when questioned after the war that they knew each other for 25 years.

The political and economic conditions in Europe had people choosing sides, even sides that were not winning. People thought that Communists, Socialists, and Fascists wanted to take over France.  Germany and England were not so much considered the enemy but Russians - Bolsheviks - many who were Jewish - were.  People feared a Russian Revolution scenario in France.  As a friend to the exiled Duke of Windsor, who had given up his Kingship for the woman he loved, his Mistress Wallis Simpson, CoCo had taken to meeting up with them and other friends in Switzerland.  Winston Churchill and his son Randolph were also visitors and friends - in England - and in France - and in Switzerland.  Hitler promised that he would reinstall the Duke of Windsor as the British King when Germany won the war.  The Duke and Duchess went to meet Hitler and famously photographed happily shaking hands. If you are social with such people, who are of a more elite status than you, would you follow their lead?
Seven years ago in June 2011 CoCo Chanel, the woman said to have been responsible for dramatically changing the fashion and style of womens' wear, was our Mistress of the Month.  You might want to go back to that month for an overall more balanced view.  As for other Nazi Mistresses, I spent a whole month on them in November 2017.
This book seems to make the case that CoCo was, rather than once in her twenties a love sick woman who struggled with the early limitations of desperate poverty, a more of an experienced and worldly Mistress of more men than previously revealed in films and books.  Throughout her adult life she had relationships, she loved, she was sexual. Her men were of various ethnic backgrounds that influenced her designs. Instead of thinking that the early heartbreaks left her focused only on designing clothes, and perfume, we can think of CoCo who was a woman of business with a sense of responsibility to her employees and family, not just herself. The most convincing part of the book is that she took a trip to Germany and indeed met a Nazi leader herself.

A little later in this month of posts, I'll write more about the relationship CoCo had with the Nazi Spy that I learned from this book.  I would like my readers to ask themselves if they have kept a relationship going with a man after learning something negative about how he conducts business or treats other people.

C 2018 Mistress Manifesto BlogSpot  All Rights Including International and Internet Rights Reserved.
Image result for public domain vintage France graphics fairy

Wednesday, May 30, 2018



Hi Missy,

I'm a hardworking woman in her mid forties who put herself through higher education, earned a Master's degree, and make a decent salary.  Bart is fifteen years older than me and has two Millennial children he had late in life and who he sent to college.  They went away to school, graduated, started careers, and moved back in.  I love Bart but there is no progress in our relationship.  He won't move in with me in my much smaller house.  He won't tell his children they really need to get moving and live as adults on their own.  We need the room for our relationship.  Bart's wife died a few years before I met him.
I think of myself as a Mistress sort of because though I make decent money, he provides the extras that make life exciting and truly well lived.  I've never tried to replace his wife as the mother of his children.  They seem to like me well enough.  What's with this Millennial generation?  What should I do?



Hi Sandy!

The cost of living is a factor and so is that, just as you have the extras that make life exciting and truly well lived because of Bart's generous nature, so do his children. (And that cost of living and need to pay for a college education is one of the reason some Millennial's become Mistresses!) I feel sorry for the generation that remains dependent on parents though intelligent and well educated and at the start of careers because they cannot afford to move out due to the cost of living. I truly believe that the experience of independent living is important for everyone, especially before marriage. But I bet these children can afford to move out and live on their own, at least with housemates, and just do not want to for other reasons too, such as remaining family though their mom is gone.  If Bart is truly wealthy, I think it would be a good idea if he bought them a house they can live in separate of him as their inheritance, or left the house that he raised them in with his wife to them and bought a separate house for the two of you.
So I do wonder if Bart really wants to move his relationship forward into living together or legal marriage at this time or not.  It sounds like you've talked about it and are frustrated with him.
I also wonder about your house. Is it the place that you two spend most of your time?  Have sex? Depending on your own financial situation, you might want to talk to Bart about selling it and buying a home together, though I generally think such a house should be purchased by a couple only after legal marriage, or if meant to be the residence of the Mistress, put in her name only.
By the way, Millennials not moving out and into fully independent lives, and parents who allow this also keep couples who might want to divorce married.  Any man who wants a mistress and still has healthy, educated, adult children at home, has a special obstacle to that goal.