Belle Brezing: From the Wrong Side of the Tracks to the Silver Screen
Presented by Doug Tattershall, author of Belle Brezing: American Magdalene
Tattershall will discuss his recent book, American Magdalene: The Redemption of Belle Brezing, which, in its mere 72 pages, manages to put flesh on the bones of the Lexington’s famous Madame.
Belle Brezing is perhaps the most famous madam in the history of the United States. When author Margaret Mitchell needed a hardscrabble woman to serve as confidante to Rhett Butler, her husband told her about Belle Brezing, the Victorian madam of a famous brothel in Lexington, Kentucky. Brezing entered Mitchell’s novel as Belle Watling, but the real Belle’s life story is as dramatic as anything found in the pages of Gone With The Wind. Brezing was born illegitimate, raised in poverty in a violent home, and at age fifteen with a baby in her arms was homeless when her door was padlocked by the landlord after her mother’s funeral. From this desperate childhood, Brezing became rich and famous, operating what Time magazine called “the most orderly of disorderly houses.”
With direct quotes, new insights and the balanced telling of the tale, he breathes new life into a fascinating old story. In his presentation he will detail the information available about Brezing, especially the valuable photographic collection. He will also focus on why there has been so much material collected about Belle.
Doug Tattershall grew up in Lexington, Kentucky, studied journalism and political science at the University of Kentucky, and worked as a news reporter for The Advocate-Messenger in Danville, Kentucky, before working in public relations. Today, he works as a freelance writer and media relations coordinator at the Lexington Public Library.
December 3, 2015 | 7:00 pm | 2nd Floor meeting room
All programs are free and open to the public.
For more information call 270-442-2510 ext. 117 or visit mclib.net/evenings