(d. i. Margaretha Geertruida Zelle or MacLeod), dancer and spy (1876-1917). Autograph Letter Signed "Marquerite." Victoria Hotel, Amsterdam. 8vo. 4 pp.
$ 4,755 / 4.000 €
Mata Hari writes to her lover, the young and then unknown artist Piet van der Hem. Written in French, the letter translates in full: "So read a bit what these journalist pigs dare to write. I asked my lawyer if the individual was worth the effort of a slap. He told me no. So I leave him be. I'm not dancing at the party on January 15. The Opera management won't let me. I don't know if [her benefactor Will] van der Schalk wants to go. If not, would you be so kind as to drive me there? If you can't, then I won't go either.
Think about my hat and the little piece of fur that I asked you for. There's no rush, but I would like to have it all the same. You are not very kind; but I have never asked a man to come see me. So I chase you away, too. My best wishes and good friendship."
Mata Hari, arguably one of the most famous spies of the 20th century, was living in neutral Holland after fleeing Berlin at the start of World War I. She began a career as a spy, working for French intelligence. However, she was later exposed as a double agent, passing information to the Germans, and was arrested in 1917. She was put on trial the following July, found guilty, and executed by firing squad.
Flattened mail folds, with some wear at center fold. Light toning, foxing, and soiling..