A TRUE STORY OF LIES, BEAUTY AND BLACKMAIL IN VICTORIAN LONDON
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; and a clientele of the aristocratic, the rich - and the gullible.
Little did they suspect that Madame Rachel had once been a poor fish-fryer in a disease-ridden, grubby corner of Victorian London. Her shop in New Bond Street lured her wealthy clients in their droves, enticed 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 is 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.
A remarkable story... Rappaport handles her scandalous Victorian melodrama with energy and aplomb, and produces a richly entertaining portrait of the seamy side of 19th century society
Madame Rachel's story, which has been superbly researched by Rappaport, is intriguing in itself [and] sheds a fascinating light on the ladies of Victorian society
Beautiful For Ever is one of those un-put-downable surprises that makes reading worthwhile… This book has the same mix of forensic investigation and light touch that makes Kate Summerscale’s books so interesting
Speaks volumes about vanity and Victorian attitudes to women
[Beautiful For Ever] is, blissfully, proof that there is still simply nothing quite like a good Victorian scandal. Rappaport excels again in this thoroughly researched account of Madame Rachel...this is a well-paced read that tells us something about the modern obsession with appearance while remaining deliciously Victorian at its core
Helen Rappaport, author of The Race to Save the Romanovs, tells the forgotten story of the women whose voice of protest helped bring about the Russian Revolution