EYE OF DAWN: The Rise and Fall of Mata Hari by Erika Ostrovsky

EYE OF DAWN: The Rise and Fall of Mata Hari

By
Email this review

KIRKUS REVIEW

The woman with the enigmatic face sits in the palm court of the London Savoy, or lounges in the luxury compartment of a train speeding through the Swiss countryside in late August 1914, or is observed entering the secret German spy school in Antwerp run by the infamous ""Walkyrie of Espionage"" Elsbeth Schragmuller. . . . Who is this enigma with the long silk-clad legs, tall lithe body, veiled stylish hat, and long feather boa on her way to enough assignations to keep the British, French, and German spy systems in desperate confusion?--this double or triple agent?--it is, yes, Mata Hari! forever seen on the arm of military officers of any nationality, a sensuelliste who never bothers with the merely rich but has dedicated her body to the military, any military. (""I love men whose profession is dying. . . .I am a woman who gets paid for her favors, but I have never hesitated between a rich banker and a poor officer."") The famed exotic dancer, rival of Isadora Duncan and even of the Ballet Russe, she whose legend sprang from the erotic Javanese temple dance which she first performed stark naked on the Parisian stage, how perfect she is for the moody, daydreamy Ostrovsky touch, the svelte pastel detail, that swash of the heart only the last of the sentimental biographers can know.

Pub Date: March 27th, 1978
Publisher: Macmillan