The Hottentot Venus

The Hottentot Venus : The Life and Death of Saartjie Baartman: Born 1789 - Buried 2002

3.49 (163 ratings by Goodreads)
By (author) 

List price: US$14.23

Currently unavailable

We can notify you when this item is back in stock

Add to wishlist

AbeBooks may have this title (opens in new window).

Try AbeBooks


In 1810, Saartjie Baartman was London's most famous curiosity. Famed for her exquisite physique - in particular her shapely bottom - she was stared at, stripped, pinched, painted, worshipped and ridiculed. But this tragic young South African woman was also a symbol of the abolished slave trade, exploitation and colonialism. In this scintillating and vividly written book, the full arc of Baartman's extraordinary life is traced for the first time.
show more

Product details

  • Paperback | 256 pages
  • 128 x 196 x 18mm | 222.26g
  • Bloomsbury Publishing PLC
  • London, United Kingdom
  • English
  • B&W Inserts
  • 0747592845
  • 9780747592846
  • 1,087,996

Review quote

'Holmes' biography of this unhappy woman is gripping and meticulously researched' Spectator 'A significant and timely book ... Holmes has produced a laceratingly powerful story. Saartjie Baartman has found the perfect biographer' Frances Wilson, Literary Review 'Musters as much factual information as possible, telling her tale with care and respect' Independent 'Impeccable ... In telling her extraordinary story, Holmes's fascinating book illuminates the forces which dominated her age, and resound in our own' Sunday Telegraph
show more

About Rachel Holmes

Rachel Holmes was educated in South Africa and England. From 1991 to 1998 she held lectureships in English at Queen Mary College, University of London and the University of Sussex. In 1998 she became part of the launch team of, where she was website manager until 2002. Her first book, Scanty Particulars: The Life of Dr James Barry, was published to critical acclaim in 2002. She is currently writing a life of Eleanor Marx. A broadcaster, columnist and reviewer, she is director of Friends of TAC, the organisation that supports the Treatment Action Campaign in the fight for HIV and AIDS in South Africa.
show more

Rating details

163 ratings
3.49 out of 5 stars
5 19% (31)
4 25% (40)
3 45% (73)
2 10% (16)
1 2% (3)
Book ratings by Goodreads
Goodreads is the world's largest site for readers with over 50 million reviews. We're featuring millions of their reader ratings on our book pages to help you find your new favourite book. Close X