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Brand: Helen Rappaport

Beautiful For Ever : Madame Rachel of Bond Street Cosmetician, Con Artist and Blackmailer

by Helen Rappaport

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Beautiful For Ever : Madame Rachel of Bond Street Cosmetician, Con Artist and Blackmailer

Madame Rachel had everything: a Mayfair address, the title of 'purveyor to Her Majesty the Queen', a shop full of exotic, expensive creams and potions. Her clientele were aristocratic, rich - and gullible. This is the true story of Madame Rachel who began life as a poor fish fryer in a disease-ridden, grubby corner of Victorian London.

She ended up with a shop in New Bond Street, where her wealthy clients came in their droves, lured by the promise of eternal beauty. What they found there was a con-woman and fraudster who made a career out of lies, treachery and the desperate hopes of women wanting to be 'beautiful for ever'. "Beautiful For Ever" also tells of the beginnings of the cosmetics industry, when women paid to be 'enamelled' with a paste of white lead that lasted up to a year, and of a society on the brink of change and modernity.

It's a thrilling tale of love affairs, scandal, blackmail, high-profile court cases, suicide and fraud, with the extraordinary Madame Rachel right at the centre of it all.

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