Sunday, July 29, 2012



pages 59-60-61

"Born Emma Crouch in 1842 in England, from a respectable middle class family but her father abandoned the family in 1849 for immigration to America. " One day in 1856, when Emma was walking home from church, a well dressed gentleman invited her home for some cakes. She followed him to his house, where he proceeded to take advantage of her. The next morning this man, a diamond merchant, promised to set her up in a house of her own, treat her well, and give her plenty of money. She took the money but left him, determined to do what she had always wanted: never see her family again, never depend on anyone, and lead the grand life that her father had promised her.

With the money the diamond merchant had given her, Emma bought nice clothes and rented a cheap flat. Adopting the flamboyant name of CORA PEARL, she began to frequent London's Argyll Rooms, a fancy place where harlots and gentlemen rubbed elbows. The proprietor, a Mr. Gignell, took note of this newcomer to his establishment - she was so brazen for a young girl. At forty-five he was much older than she was, bu he decided to be her lover and protector, lavishing her with money and attention...

"Frequenting all the right places, Cora soon ca me to the attention of wealthy French gentlemen. ...As money began to pour in from her various conquests (the Duc de Mornay, heir to the Dutch throne; Prince Napoleon, cousin to the Emperor), Cora spent it on the most outrageous things - a multicolored carriage pulled by a team of cream-colored horses, a rose marbled bath tub... But money could not buy Cora's loyalty; she would leave a man on the slightest whim...

Antics like this made Cora the toast of Paris, and she reigned as the city's supreme courtesan for over a decade, until the Franco-Prussian War of 1879 put an end to the Second Empire."

Penguin Books Publisher

C Robert Greene and Joost Elffers 2001

Friday, July 27, 2012


"My home (and office) will be clean, decorated, and arranged to set the stage for a beautiful life."

Your personal style may be unique but there are some things about decorating and housekeeping that can't be denied. Clean and sweet smelling is always right, be it that you burn exotic perfumed candles, keep fresh flowers on the table, or spray from a can. Clean sheets, be they fine cotton or silk, are always right, as is a neat desk (just try to have it organized before you leave for the weekend) with tasteful art done by real artists (shop your local art fair), healthy plants, and the latest electronics.

You don't need a lot of money to have style or taste or imagination. There are plentiful ideas in magazines on decorating. Paint, slip covers, some new draperies and pillows can liven the appearance of you home or office. You can even change these seasonally.

Some of us have time when we don't have money and money when we don't have time!

Sunday, July 22, 2012


Money issues sometimes break relationships, married or not, and money issues sometimes make relationships too. Few people want to admit that they are out to marry money, yet everything they do would say otherwise. While we learn about Cora Pearl and other mistresses - courtesans - reknown not only for their beauty, their liasons, their antics, or their extravagant spending, investing, or losses, we are sometimes inspired or scared into more conservative money management.


Wednesday, July 18, 2012


Page 121

... "Many courtesans were very good at financial planning. More than a few were able to end their days on this earth in the style to which they had become accustomed... Still others relied on the generosity of younger courtesans for whom they arranged liaisons. And from the 15th century through the 20th, another way existed for a courtesan to face old age with dignity. Like any profession, the art was handed down. If she were fortunate enough to have a daughter, a courtesan could train her in all the necessary skills and thus ensure a means of support in her old age."

"If ... motherly love this tradition seems wanting, one must remember that, under the weight of the restricted and difficult circumstances that women endured in this period, much of what any mother bequeathed her daughter was of mixed value. Never the less, even if being a courtesan was considered by some as preferable to marriage, there were mothers who did try to avoid passing on their professions."

Susan Griffin
The Book of Courtesans : A Catalogue of Their Virtues

Sunday, July 15, 2012


Katie Hickman says Cora Pearl reinvented herself and was "good at the theatre of life." Cora dyed her hair blue and dyed her dog's hair blue too. (Think Madonna!) Linking to an article by Kickman, Cora's biographer, says "Sexiness and availability were never enough to succeed as a courtesan. Cora was also an extremely good business woman. At the height of her success she was said to have earned over 50,000 francs a month (£90,000). She owned several houses in Paris, a chateau, a world-famous stable; her jewels alone were worth over a million francs. Cora was one of the first women in Paris to wear couture (she was an early patron of Worth); make-up; lingerie. Best of all - and I speak as an Englishwoman - she bested the French at their own game."

Sunday, July 8, 2012


A very well written and thought out article on Victoria Griffin which mentions Cora Pearl, also a serial mistress, and the differences between the Courtesans of the 19th century and the mistresses of today. Linking to a 1999 article in The Independent.

Thursday, July 5, 2012


"Medicine is my lawful wife and literature my mistress; when I get tired of one, I spend the night with the other." Anton Chekhov

Tuesday, July 3, 2012


photo from GOOGLE IMAGES

This month we celebrate the 19th century prostitute?/ courtesan/? mistress? CORA PEARL, born Emma Elizabeth Crouch.

Cora has been the subject of a number of blogs and articles on the net, and because she's so popular and so covered, I hesitated. Finding Cora's own memoir, which she wrote herself, on Google Books convinced me to go ahead and elect Cora. I'm linking to this book, which you can read on line. Cora's memoir was published in London but I think it was translated from French.

So click on the title or at the bottom of this post to the link, and you'll soon be reading it and learn not only about her life and her world view but the way women who started out poor lived in the 19th century!  

Cora tells the story that she was 15 when she was taken to bed by a man who could have been 35, who she first saw in a market. Later, though she started out curious, she was disgusted. In Cora's day many poor women were considered to be unmarriageable because they didn't have a dowry or, out of innocence or hunger, they found sex to be the only way to resolve their destitution and couldn't marry because they had lost their virginity before marriage, even if they were molested or raped.

Today women, especially in Western Countries, have so many more opportunities to become educated, have businesses, or make their own way in life. Many women today have no need or desire for marriage. In those days even a honorably married woman, who became a widow and who didn't find another husband quickly, unless they inherited money, went to the street. (There were probably more loveless marriages in those situations than there are today.)

Cora was a serial mistress known for her dinner parties.  She would have herself brought out on a large silver dish, naked and reclining on a bed of violets, as "desert." That Cora captures our imagination a century later says something about her appeal.

This month we'll read what other authors have also said of Cora.

GOOGLE BOOKS - CORA PEARL's OWN MEMOIR  updated January 2016

C 2012 Mistress Manifesto / Missy Rapport All Rights Reserved including International and Internet Rights

Monday, July 2, 2012


Janice Dickinson was a supermodel, a vicious competitor, a verbal snipe, an unapologetic gold digger, into control and power - a discipline mistress in attitude, and over all not a nice person. The book offers you many pictures of Janice herself and her two children. She confesses to AA and finding happiness, yet there is a prevailing feeling reading it that she is totally narcissistic and self-involved. Her intensity gives the impression that she was not just a hard partier and player, but angry and hostile, especially with men. Janice was sexually abused by her own father.

In this book Janice is especially pissed with Mick Jagger - till the end. She had a year long affair with him while also friends with Jerry Hall, the mistress who had so many children with him. Janice was playing for the highest pay. She says models sabotage each other, sometimes psychologically aiming at another models insecurities, sometimes with a little food poisoning.

The difference between a whore, a gold digger, a courtesan, and Janice???

Page 165

"Bad Sex A Go Go: Foreign Men Who Promise You the Freaking World"

"See, there was this head of state - I won't mention his name; I don't need any more men in black showing up at my door in the middle of the night. Well, I was doing a few print ads in his country, and one night he invited m,e to a restaurant with a name that began with Maison and ended with at $500 bill. I was compelled to say yes; after all, I was from the United States, proud of my heritage, and I thought my nation needed my services as a cultural ambassador.

After dinner, Mr. Powerful took me back to his penthouse suite at the best hotel in all the land. He dismissed the armed guards, double - locked the doors, took off his bulletproof vest, and turned down the lights. But he couldn't get it up.

It was a little disappointing.
Here I was, already fancying myself a rock n roll Princess Grace. I knew I'd look damn good in one of those little diamond tiaras - and besides, I've always wanted a moat.

"Jan-eese!" my foreign billionaire moaned, trying to seal the deal some other way. "I can give you a fur coat, a Ferrari, a parcel of land in the South of France. Anything if you would be mistress."

"As much as I liked the idea of owning some French countryside, I just had to say no, though. What me and my big trap actually said "Are you kidding me? I don't think so. You need to,uh, be able to fly a different type of flag in order to keep my interest."

The only thing I walked away with that might was a pound of caviar from the minibar and the little gold crest off his jacket."

ReganBooks - AN Imprint of HarperCollinsPublishers
C 2004 Janice Dickinson.