11 October 1797
100 years ago, on 15 October 1917, Margaretha Geertruida ‘Margreet’ MacLeod, better known as the exotic dancer and courtesan Mata Hari, was shot by the French for spying for Germany during World War I.
In 1903, following the death of a young son and a bitter divorce, MacLeod reinvented herself as an exotic dancer in Paris, before finally taking up the life of a courtesan. She could have remained a half-forgotten member of France’s grande horizontale were it not for the First World War and her disastrous decision to become embroiled in espionage. What happened next was part farce and part tragedy that ended in her execution in October 1917.
But what did the case against Mata Hari really look like?
“I am a woman who enjoys herself very much; sometimes I lose, sometimes I win.”Mata Hari