Author(s): Richard Skinner
When Margaretha Zelle, a young woman living in The Hague, answers a lonely hearts advertisement she becomes drawn into a relationship with an army captain twice her age. After a hasty wedding, they depart for Indonesia, where the marriage collapses amid infidelity and violence. Seeking a new life, Margaretha returns to Europe and travels to Paris, where she adopts the stage name Mata Hari, reinventing herself as an exotic dancer. In her new role she attracts the attention of numerous admirers, many of whom are officers, ready to share their secrets with a woman of notorious allure and intrigue, as Europe lurches towards explosive conflict.
Love, sex, infamy and betrayal: the story of one of the greatest female icons of the twentieth century, Mata Hari.
Richard Skinner is the author of the novels The Red Dancer, Le gentleman de velours (shortlisted in France for the Prix Livres and Musiques) and The Darks. He has also written a writer's handbook entitled Fiction Writing (Hale). For many years, Richard has been an Associate Tutor at Goldsmiths College, London, where he teaches on the MA Creative and Life Writing. He is Director of the Fiction Programme at the Faber Academy and a tutor on its six-month 'Writing a Novel' course.