Biography of Famous Sexual Figure and Spy Mata Hari Part 1

About the famous sexual figure Mata Hari, German spy and lady of intrigue, her biography, history, and lovers.


One of her lovers had a typically French plan for her last-minute escape from the firing squad. Mata Hari, the most notorious spy since Delilah and the most accomplished mistress since La Pompadour, was to wear only a long fur coat on the morning of her execution. As soon as the rifles were raised, she would throw open her fur, and certainment, no red-blooded male would be able to fire upon her glorious body.

Actually this was not the most bizarre of the many ruses designed to save history's most celebrated spy and courtesan. As she waited calmly in her prison cell, demanding milk baths and all the luxuries she considered necessities, Mata Hari's lovers plotted incessantly. One playboy aviator volunteered to buzz St. Lazare prison and strafe his beloved's firing squad. Maitre Clunet, Mata's brilliant lawyer, decided to spring a technicality on her unsuspecting jailers at the last moment--under French law no woman can be executed if pregnant, and he, her 75-year-old lover, would claim that Mata Hari was carrying his child. Most dramatic of all was the scheme conceived by Pierre de Mortissac, a nobleman who had squandered all his sizable fortune trying to win Mata Hari's love. Pierre had lifted his plan directly from the opera Tosca. He intended to bribe the firing squad to use blank cartridges and his lover would fall "dead" at the 1st mock volley. Late at night he and his confederates would spirit her live body from a grave dug especially shallow so that she wouldn't suffocate in her coffin.

Mata Hari, knowing all these plans and more, could afford to be confident, and she enjoyed her confinement as much as the drab surroundings permitted. Even in those final hours in prison she entertained her young doctor and the 2 incredulous nuns who watched over her. She danced her exotic nude dances, she regaled her jailers with risque stories of her past. . . .

It was a past that has been fashionably debunked recently, for no good reason. The Dancer of the Seven Veils was in reality all that legend makes her, though even more complex a creature. Her photographs reveal a voluptuously attractive woman possessing an animal sensuality that transcends her every defect. Mata Hari knew how to "move a long, thin and proud body as Paris had never seen one moved before," the French writer Colette once observed. She was the personification of sex, but hated the men who loved her. Men paid Mata Hari with money, secrets, the lives of others, and yet she could betray them--loving what they gave, but hating what she though they were.

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