About the Book
While few may know her name today, hers was perhaps the world’s most recognizable face in the years of the Belle Epoque, made so by the magic of photography and the public's infatuation with the newly invented postcard. This is the life story of one of history's most illustrious beauties. The sacred and profane fantasies she inspired worked their magic on Klimt, Toulouse-Lautrec, and a dozen other important artists. Before the industrial publicity machines of Hollywood were conceived, and before there were any moving pictures at all, postcard images of great beauties breathed life into the newly invented "media star." Merode was the first in a line of women to become famous because the media (a newly invented manufacturing process for celebrity) made their tantalizing images recognizable to the masses.
Lawrence Jay Switzer has created The Walt Whitman Series (six volumes in print to date) and biographies of history's most famous courtesans. He also is the publisher and Creative Director of The New Knickerbocker Quarterly Magazine.