Raised like a princess in one of the most powerful families in the American South, Henrietta Bingham was offered the helm of a publishing empire. Instead she ripped through the Jazz Age like an F. Scott Fitzgerald character. In New York, Louisville, and London, she drove both men and women wild with desire, and her youth blazed with sex. But her love affairs with women made her the subject of derision, and she suffered from years of addiction and breakdowns. Perhaps most painfully, she became a source of embarrassment for her family.
But forebears can become fairy-tale figures, especially when they defy tradition and are spoken of only in whispers. For biographer Emily Bingham, the secret of who her great-aunt was and just why her story was concealed for so long led to Irrepressible. Henrietta rode the cultural cusp as a muse to the Bloomsbury Group, the daughter of the ambassador to the United Kingdom during the rise of Nazism, and a pre-Stonewall figure who never buckled to convention. Henrietta's audacious physicality made her unforgettable in her own time, and her ecstatic and harrowing life serves as an astonishing reminder of the stories lying buried in our own families.
©2015 Emily Bingham (P)2015 Tantor