Friday, July 8, 2011


            The very concept of a mistress has been around for ages.   In fact, had there been another woman on the horizon, rest assured that Adam might likely have cheated on Eve.
            In the upper strata of society, women were traditionally expected to overlook their husband’s “dalliances”; marriage was often viewed as more of a business arrangement and, after all, men would be men.
            Caesar’s wife, Calpurnia, accepted the fact that Caesar had a mistress, that is until he brought Cleopatra back to Rome and she began to flaunt the son she claimed was their “love child”.   (Any parallels that might be drawn to the recent scandal involving a California politician, are strictly coincidental).
            Louis XV had his Madam de Pompadour, Colette wrote about the training of a courtesan (remember Gigi?), and on and on it continued until the sixties brought with it “the pill” and the sexual revolution that followed.
            These were tough times in which to be a proper mistress. With all the “free love” being bandied about, the average man was less likely to spring for the rent on a “love nest” and all the other pricey “mistressy” requirements.
            Still, there will always be the powerful honcho who can indulge his desires and who wants to avoid the scandal of stepping out with just anyone, something that could be costly to his career.  In short, he wants to have his cake and eat it too, metaphorically speaking.
            What follows is a list of “big whigs” to be matched with the females with whom they are said to have had affairs. Realizing that some of these are difficult, I threw you a bone with Hitler. (Note: One lady was actually the mistress of two powerful men listed (she was indeed!), but in this game it’s only “one per customer” so you’ll have to decide on the correct match in this instance.) Scroll down for the answers and good luck.

1.    Lucy Mercer                                                 a. Edward Brooke
2.    Gennifer Flowers                                          b.Wm.Randolph Hearst
3.    Gloria Swanson                                            c. Thomas Jefferson
4.    Phyllis McQuire                                            d. John Edwards
5.    Marion Davies                                               e. John Kennedy
6.    Barbara Walters                                            f. Bill Clinton
7.    Eva Braun                                                     g. Sam Giancana
8.    Rielle Hunter                                                 h. Franklin Roosevelt
9.    Sally Hemings                                                i.  Joe Kennedy
10.  Judith Campbell                                             j. Adolf Hitler

1.h    Lucy Mercer was F.D.R.’s personal secretary; they were personal in many ways.

2.f     Bill Clinton admitted to an indiscretion with Gennifer Flowers while trying to defend his name in the Paula Jones and Monica Lewinsky affairs.

3.i     Actress Gloria Swanson was the mistress of Joe Kennedy; obviously old Joe taught his sons well.

4.g    Here’s where things get tricky. Singer Phyllis McQuire (of the McQuire Sisters) had a long term affair with Mafia kingpin, Sam Giancana.  Giancana also had an affair with a beauty by the name of Judith Campbell, whose name will come up again on this list.

5.b    Newspaper mogul, Wm. Randolph Hearst (upon whose life the movie, Citizen Kane, was based)  “kept” actress, Marion Davies in a lavish beach house estate in Santa Monica, which the two designed together.

6.a    In the seventies, TV journalist, Barbara Walters, admittedly had an ongoing affair, with  married Sen. Edward Brooke of Massachusetts; Brooke, incidentally, was the first black to be elected to the senate and if news of the affair had been leaked at the time, both of their careers would likely have been ruined.

7.j    Eva Braun’s relationship with Adolf was well documented, as was the first "crush" Hitler had on his niece, Geli Raubal.

8.d    Sen. John Edwards was having an affair with Rielle Hunter while his wife was dying of cancer. Nice.

9.c    Thomas Jefferson’s mistress was his slave, Sally Hemings.

10.e  And here’s where things get interesting. Judith Campbell was having an affair with President John Kennedy at the same time she was sleeping with Sam Giancana (are you still with me?) which was the same time Kennedy’s brother-in-law, Atty. Gen. Robert Kennedy, was investigating the operations of the Mafia in this country.

Other women with whom J.F.K was reputedly involved included: Gene Tierney, Marilyn Monroe, Jane Mansfield, and Angie Dickenson. Incidentally, I toyed with the idea of having a separate list for all the Kennedy men and their respective mistresses, but the list would have been too long.

Thank you for joining me on Rhodes Less Traveled and,

Have a great weekend, Vivian


  1. So you think if there had been another man on the horizon, Eve wouldn't have cheated? C'mon!

  2. I was thinking that Adam might have had a thing for the Snake -- might have gotten off on the "shedding of the skin" thing. Once Eve was on the scene -- well, hell hath no fury as a snake in the grass scorned. (Think this is unrealizstic? Why do you think that in the bible there were so many proscriptions against "beastiality." (ROTFL...) Marlena

  3. I didn't do very well on the quiz. Also, try as I might, I can't for the life of me come up with a cogent comment. There does seem to be a kind of theme here, though...what with throwing the bone to us and all. What are we saying basically...that men are dogs and women are what? Doggies?

  4. You have a point; unfortunately I couldn't seem to come up with many known male mistresses in history. If anyone else can come up with a few, I'd love to hear about them.