Marie Boozer, also known as Mary (1846-1908), was a beautiful, brilliant, and notorious strawberry-blonde who lived a remarkable life. Above all, she was human—complete with foibles and attributes beyond the stereotypical perception held by the public. Bad Scarlett: The Extraordinary Life of the Notorious Southern Beauty Marie Boozer is her first full-length biography and reveals the true, redemptive story of a young belle from Columbia, South Carolina, who transformed into a scandalous divorcée in New York and London, a Paris courtesan defying police authority, and ultimately the Countess de Pourtalès-Gorgier and world citizen—while her half-sisters raised families in pioneer Florida. Myths about Marie Boozer, including the Kilpatrick legend, are demolished in this book, and Civil War military heroes are acknowledged. Amelia Feaster's letter to Abraham Lincoln and Union soldiers' diaries prove who burned Columbia, South Carolina.
Author, historian, and professor emeritus at Emory University, Bell Irvin Wiley deemed Marie Boozer “one of the four most famous southern women of the Civil War,” and popular southern historian Manly Wade Wellman wrote that she was the basis for the character of Scarlett O'Hara. Finally, Marie's entire story is told.
Rave reviews for Bad Scarlett:
Alexander Moore, historian of South Carolina: “A skilled historian and imaginative writer, Deborah C. Pollack has replaced half-truths and prejudices with a complete, exhaustively-researched biography of Marie Boozer’s life. Pollack also has rescued La Boozer from 150 years of calumny, smirking innuendos, and insipid scholarship at the hands of Lost Cause zealots, pot-boiler novelists, and pop culture historians. The real-life Marie Boozer had a character that was braver, more independent, and far grander than any of the legends about her.”
Rosalie Foster, historian and president, North Brevard Heritage Foundation: "Marie Boozer was a liberated woman for her time and lived an interesting and exciting life with many trials and tribulations. In a well-written biography, Deborah Pollack's extensive research to right the wrong about Marie Boozer's life is extraordinary. I enjoyed the relationship between her sister Ethland Feaster Wilson and other family members at LaGrange, Florida.”
Andrew Wagenhoffer, Civil War Books and Authors:
"The bibliography and notes show significant research in archival sources, and one of the stated goals of the biography is to address the many rumors, half-truths, and outright fabrications associated with Boozer's colorful life. One chapter in particular, titled "The Kilpatrick Myth," immediately grabbed my attention. As the stories go (and Pollack claims that 25 non-fiction titles published during the past 15 years perpetuate the legend), Boozer was one of the infamous ladies that accompanied General Kilpatrick during Sherman's 1865 march through the Carolinas, and she was sleeping with the general when his command was surprised and temporarily routed at the Battle of Monroe's Crossroads (the famous "Shirttail Skedaddle"). Pollack's research found no factual basis for these tales, noting that Boozer was never with Kilpatrick and instead traveled north with General Howard's column (that trip being documented in the following chapter)."
Barry Myers, Curator, Lightner Museum, Saint Augustine, Florida: "One of the best biographies I've read in a long time. A vivid account of one woman's extraordinary life. A brave woman who rose above the gossip and innuendo surrounding her earlier life. Hurtful gossip which would continue to plague her throughout her life. Extraordinarily written and researched by Deborah Pollack who has set the record straight. A must read for anyone interested in history and especially 19th century social customs. A remarkable retelling of an almost forgotten story."
Kihm Winship, copywriter, blogger, and author, New York, "an excellent read."