The Red Widow

The Scandal that Shook Paris and the Woman Behind it All

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Pub Date 06 Sep 2022 | Archive Date 13 Sep 2022

Description

Sex, corruption, and power: the rise and fall of the Red Widow of Paris

Paris, 1889:Margeurite Steinheil is a woman with ambition. But having been born into a middle-class family and trapped in a marriage to a failed artist twenty years her senior, she knows her options are limited.

Determined to fashion herself into a new woman, Meg orchestrates a scandalous plan with her most powerful resource: her body. Amid the dazzling glamor, art, and romance of bourgeois Paris, she takes elite men as her lovers, charming her way into the good graces of the rich and powerful. Her ambitions, though, go far beyond becoming the most desirable woman in Paris; at her core, she is a woman determined to conquer French high society. But the game she plays is a perilous one: navigating misogynistic double-standards, public scrutiny, and political intrigue, she is soon vaulted into infamy in the most dangerous way possible.

A real-life femme fatale, Meg influences government positions and resorts to blackmail-and maybe even poisoning-to get her way. Leaving a trail of death and disaster in her wake, she earns the name the "Red Widow" for mysteriously surviving a home invasion that leaves both her husband and mother dead. With the police baffled and the public enraged, Meg breaks every rule in the bourgeois handbook and becomes the most notorious woman in Paris.

An unforgettable true account of sex, scandal, and murder, The Red Widow is the story of a woman determined to rise-at any cost.

Sex, corruption, and power: the rise and fall of the Red Widow of Paris

Paris, 1889:Margeurite Steinheil is a woman with ambition. But having been born into a middle-class family and trapped in a...


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ISBN 9781728226323
PRICE $26.99 (USD)
PAGES 336

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Average rating from 8 members


Featured Reviews

Not every book contains a hero. This one certainly doesn't.

The Red Widow follows the life of Margeurite "Meg" Steinheil. Meg was a very popular topic in the late 1800s/early 1900s. She flaunts certain rules while abiding by many others of the era. She does have a habit of people dying around her and some are definitely not natural. I will not reveal any more due to spoilers. However, there is certainly enough material for the book to cover.

What makes this a very good read is that the author, Sarah Horowitz, is one of the few people who does not fall for Meg's charms. Yes, there are many things Meg had to face that we object to nowadays. However, Meg is also a narcissistic, anti-Semitic opportunist. I have read many historical true crime books which fall in love with their subjects and bend the narrative to portray them in the best light. Horowitz avoids this and gives a clear eyed picture of the events as they are known or unknown.

You will not like Meg, but that doesn't mean her story isn't fascinating. It is.

(This book was provided to me as an advance reader copy bu Netgalley and Sourcebooks. The full review will be posted to HistoryNerdsUnited.com on 9/8/2022.)

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