DescriptionMata Hari Autograph Letter Signed "Mata Hari." One page, 7" x 8.75", in French, n. p., n. d. [Monday]. Writing to an unknown gentleman, she says that she would like to meet with him and it would be acceptable that he come to her home. Toned edges. While signatures of Mata Hari are uncommon, handwritten letters are even scarcer.
The Dutch-born Margaretha Geertruida Zelle MacLeod (1876-1917), more widely known as Mata Hari, began her career in the circus and as a model before taking to the stage in 1905. Her assumed identity of a Javanese princess (which made her seem more exotic) coupled with her seeming lack of inhibitions made her an instant success. Her career as a dancer only lasted ten years, but by this time, and despite the fact that she was married, she became a successful courtesan, having several relationships with very powerful men.
When the First World War broke out, Mata Hari began a new career path - that of a spy. Supposedly working for French intelligence, she was exposed as a double agent, passing information to the Germans, and arrested in her Paris hotel room on February 13, 1917. She was put on trial the following July, found guilty, and executed by firing squad on October 15, 1917. The question of her covert activities remained a mystery until the 1970s, when classified documents unsealed in Germany revealed that she was indeed spying for the German Empire.
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