Rachel Holmes's African Queen: The Real Life of the Hottentot Venus PDF

By Rachel Holmes

ISBN-10: 1400061369

ISBN-13: 9781400061365

Saartjie Baartman was once twenty-one years outdated whilst she was once taken from her local South Africa and shipped to London. inside weeks, the notable African good looks was once the debate of the social season of 1810–hailed as “the Hottentot Venus” for her beautiful body and suggestive semi-nude dance. As her repute unfold to Paris, Saartjie turned a lightning rod for past due Georgian and Napoleonic attitudes towards intercourse and race, exploitation and colonialism, prurience and technological know-how. In African Queen, Rachel Holmes recounts the luminous, heartbreaking tale of 1 woman’s trip from slavery to stardom.

Born right into a herding tribe often called the jap Cape Khoisan, Saartjie used to be slightly out of her teenagers while she used to be orphaned and widowed by means of colonial warfare and compelled aboard a boat sure for England. a couple of smart, unscrupulous showmen dressed her up in a physique stocking with a suggestive fringe and positioned her at the London degree as a “specimen” of African good looks and sexuality. The Hottentot Venus was once an in a single day sensation.

But star introduced unforeseen results. Abolitionists initiated a lawsuit to win Saartjie’s freedom, a case that electrified the English public. In Paris, a group of scientists subjected her to a humiliating public inspection as they probed the secret of her sexual attract. Stared at, stripped, pinched, painted, worshipped, and ridiculed, Saartjie got here to represent the erotic obsession on the middle of colonialism. yet underneath the costumes and the glare of exposure, this younger Khoisan lady was once an individual who were torn from her personal tradition and sacrificed to the whims of trendy Europe.

Nearly centuries after her demise, Saartjie made headlines once more whilst Nelson Mandela introduced a crusade to have her is still back to the land of her start. during this amazing, vividly written e-book, Rachel Holmes lines the complete arc of Saartjie’s awesome story–a tale of race, eros, oppression, and status that resonates powerfully today.

From the Hardcover edition.

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African Queen: The Real Life of the Hottentot Venus by Rachel Holmes

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