Rose Dugdale’s life is singularly notorious. Born into extreme wealth (she was a member of the last class of debutantes who were presented to the Queen), she abandoned her life as an Oxford-trained Ph.D. and heiress to join the cause of Irish Republicanism. While on the surface she appears to be the British version of Patricia Hearst, she is anything but. Dugdale ran head-first towards the action, spearheading the first aerial terrorist attack in British history by dropping bombs on a police station. Later, Dugdale was the mastermind and leader of the biggest art theft of her time, when she led a gang into the opulent Russborough House in Ireland to make off with millions in prized paintings, including a work by the mysterious master Johannes Vermeer. Dugdale thus became— to this day—the only woman to pull off a major art heist. The Woman Who Stole Vermeer will examine the likelihood that this was not her only such heist. Rose Dugdale was truly ahead of her time. It’s the perfect book for a wide audience. It will appeal to fans of true crime, fine art, and third-wave feminism.
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