Category Archives: Compulsions

Manchurian Candy

If you believe Candy Jones’ second husband, she was part of a CIA mind-control program in which unsuspecting subjects were trained to carry out tasks of which they would later have no memory.

Manchurian Candy

If you believe Candy Jones’ second husband, she was part of a CIA mind-control program in which unsuspecting subjects were trained to carry out tasks of which they would later have no memory.

¡La Lupe!

With her on-stage histrionics and off-stage drama, La Lupe was a suffering, Garland-esque prima donna, name-checked in Susan Sontag’s Notes on Camp. While touring with Tito Puente, La Lupe proved so erratic that she was replaced with two drag queens.

¡La Lupe!

With her on-stage histrionics and off-stage drama, La Lupe was a suffering, Garland-esque prima donna, name-checked in Susan Sontag’s Notes on Camp. While touring with Tito Puente, La Lupe proved so erratic that she was replaced with two drag queens.

The countess in the cinema

If you’ve ever wondered what would happen if photographer Joel-Peter Witkin went back in time to Blood of a Poet-era Jean Cocteau and convinced him that steampunk was the way forward (and who among us hasn’t?), you’re about to find out.

The countess in the cinema

If you’ve ever wondered what would happen if photographer Joel-Peter Witkin went back in time to Blood of a Poet-era Jean Cocteau and convinced him that steampunk was the way forward (and who among us hasn’t?), you’re about to find out.

The countess in the afterlife

Today, curating one’s own image is a pursuit available to anyone with a Facebook account and a digital camera; this phenomenon arguably began with the Countess de Castiglione in Second Empire France.

The countess in the afterlife

Today, curating one’s own image is a pursuit available to anyone with a Facebook account and a digital camera; this phenomenon arguably began with the Countess de Castiglione in Second Empire France.

Lapses into piety

Harry Crosby always felt he was living on borrowed time. He was obsessed with the idea of determining the end from which he had already once — against all odds — been spared.

Lapses into piety

Harry Crosby always felt he was living on borrowed time. He was obsessed with the idea of determining the end from which he had already once — against all odds — been spared.

Yield to Total Elation

Few artists were ever so comprehensively ignored in their own lifetime as A.G. Rizzoli. Working in complete isolation, he transformed the prose of architectural drawing into transcendental poetry.

Yield to Total Elation

Few artists were ever so comprehensively ignored in their own lifetime as A.G. Rizzoli. Working in complete isolation, he transformed the prose of architectural drawing into transcendental poetry.

Last round

Born Jacques d’Adelswärd to minor nobility and a major fortune, he later added the second barrel to his name in honour of his ancestor, the Swedish adventurer Count Fersen who was a favourite — and possibly lover — of Marie Antoinette.

Last round

Born Jacques d’Adelswärd to minor nobility and a major fortune, he later added the second barrel to his name in honour of his ancestor, the Swedish adventurer Count Fersen who was a favourite — and possibly lover — of Marie Antoinette.

Feasts, princes, champagne

The life of dancer and courtesan La Belle Otero offers a fascinating insight into sex, power, money, class and fame in the Belle Époque.

Feasts, princes, champagne

The life of dancer and courtesan La Belle Otero offers a fascinating insight into sex, power, money, class and fame in the Belle Époque.

Mrs Kane

As reality TV producers know, something magic happens when colossal determination is unburdened by talent, and the woman who insisted on being called “Madame Walska” didn’t need top billing at La Scala to indulge her inner diva.

Mrs Kane

As reality TV producers know, something magic happens when colossal determination is unburdened by talent, and the woman who insisted on being called “Madame Walska” didn’t need top billing at La Scala to indulge her inner diva.