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 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.
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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 - Daily Mail
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 - Daily Telegraph
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 - Big Issue
Speaks volumes about vanity and Victorian attitudes to women - Independent
[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 - Waterstone's Books Quarterly
Rappaport’s book takes us behind the façade of fashionable Bond Street to glimpse the seamy side of Victorian respectability - Daily Mail
Helen Rappaport read Russian Special Studies at Leeds University and was an actress in TV and films before moving into publishing. She worked as a freelance editor for academic publishers before becoming a full time writer in 1998, specialising in Victorian social history and the Russian Revolution. She is the author of No Place for Ladies: The Untold Story of Women in the Crimean War, Ekaterinburg: The Last Days of the Romanovs and Conspirators: Lenin in Exile. Helen Rappaport lives in Oxford.