Hortense Mancini appeared one day with Sailor Moon buns and such a fascinating Wikipedia entry I had to make room for her in this internationale season. Her story is like if you did a Frankenstein thing of putting together all the most scandilicious bits of every story ever on Vulgar History ever before into one story, because it’s all here! Wearing a pants disguise! Breaking new ground for women in publishing! Putting on plays in which she plays the main part! A terrible husband! Lovers! Outfits! Here in part one we learn about Hortense (incl how to pronounce her name), her sisters, brother, and cousins, her terrible husband, and set the scene with some important people who will show up in later episodes.
Content warning: discussion of the details of her abusive husband and marriage begin at around 37:30. You can skip that and still listen to future bits of Hortense’s story!
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Mistresses: Sex and Scandal at the Court of Charles II by Linda Porter
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