Just 21 years old, Saartjie Baartman was taken from her native South Africa and shipped to London. Within weeks, she had made the headlines and become the talk of the social season of 1810, hailed as "The Hottentot Venus" for her exquisite physique and suggestive seminude dance. As her fame spread to Paris, Saartjie became a lightning rod for the era's attitudes toward sex, race, colonialism, and science, while abolitionists sought her freedom in a High Court lawsuit. In examining the society that permitted such abuses, Rachel Holmes creates a portrait of a young woman who had to contend with a strange and unenviable form of celebrity.
The Hottentot Venus: The Life and Death of Sarah Baartman
Author: Rachel Holmes.