Do you know the name Margarethae Zelle?
Maybe you know her better as Mata Hari…………
She was born on the 7th August 1876 the daughter of a shop owner, she died on the 15th October 1917, she was an exotic dancer and courtesan who was convicted of being a spy for Germany during World War 1 and executed by firing squad in France.
She was always a extraordinary woman from early in her life till the end of her life, in 1889 her father is believed to have ran off with another woman and her mother died. She was a spoiled and very sexual girl who at around the age of 15 was sent away to learn to be a teacher but was expelled for having an affair with a married headmaster.
So she moved to The Hague, a city full of colonial officials who had returned from service in the Dutch East Indies (Indonesia). It was there as a bored 18yr old she meet and married one such official Capt. Rudolf MacLeod with who she had 2 children.
The marriage was not what she hoped and didn’t last and afterwards she headed to Paris were she reinvented herself as a startling new exotic dancer called Mata Hari. In 1905 Mata Hari was a Malay term for “sunrise” or the “eye of the day” she broke onto the social scene with a performance at an art museum in Paris. Hundreds of the capital’s wealthy elite were invited and Mata Hari presented utterly novel dances in transparent, revealing outfits with a jewelled bra and an extraordinary headpiece.
Under any other circumstances, she could have been arrested for indecency, but she had very carefully thought through her position. At each performance, she took the time to explain carefully that these were sacred temple dances from the Indies. Mata Hari was sensuous, beautiful, erotic, and emotional; she told tales of lust, jealousy, passion, and vengeance through her dancing, and the public lapped it up.