Flappers

Six Women of a Dangerous Generation

3.83 based on 711 ratings & 105 reviews on Goodreads.com
Macmillan

Publication date: 23.05.2013
ISBN: 9780230771680
Number of pages: 0

Synopsis

For many young women, the 1920s felt like a promise of liberty. It was a period when they dared to shorten their skirts and shingle their hair, to smoke, drink, take drugs and to claim sexual freedoms. In an era of soaring stock markets, consumer expansion, urbanization and fast travel, women were reimagining both the small detail and the large ambitions of their lives.

In Flappers, acclaimed biographer Judith Mackrell follows a group of six women - Diana Cooper, Nancy Cunard, Tallulah Bankhead, Zelda Fitzgerald, Josephine Baker and Tamara de Lempicka - who, between them, exemplified the range and daring of that generation's spirit. For them, the pursuit of experience was not just about dancing the Charleston and wearing fashionable clothes. They made themselves prominent among the artists, icons, and heroines of their age, pursuing experience in ways that their mothers could never have imagined, seeking to define what it was to be young and a woman in an age where the smashing of old certainties had thrown the world wide open.

Talented, reckless and wilful, with personalities that transcended their class and background, they re-wrote their destinies in remarkable, entertaining and sometimes tragic ways. And between them they blazed the trail of the New Woman around the world.

In the media

Informative and deeply moving ... The strength of this compelling book derives from the cumulative effect of so much pain and suffering endured by these once hopeful young pioneering women
Literary Review
Mackrell interweaves these intense lives with rich detail of their wider worlds . . . she writes beautifully, peppering her prose with their sly one-liners and her own insights, while maintaining a pace as swift as the exhausting lives she describes.
Kate Colquhoun
Offers a way to look beyond the clichés of the Roaring Twenties into what was actually going on in these women's heads. Mackrell - who writes with great brio - shows us the uncertainly and confusion that often lay behind the brittle artifice.
Sunday Times