Of course Natalie Barney rode astride her horse rather than side-saddle as a child. Decades ahead of her time, she knew she was a lesbian from the age of twelve, in 1888, and considered it unusual but perfectly natural, like being an albino. Born into one of DC's wealthiest families, she refused to hide. In 1900, she published a book of her love poems to women and her mother sketched the illustrations. Alas, when her father found out, he bought up every copy still available and paid the printer to destroy the plates. So she moved to Paris, where she published ten more books and for sixty years held a weekly salon that was the epicenter not only of lesbian life (yes, Mata Hari really did begin her Lady Godiva dance there by entering on a white horse) but also the city's literary culture. Frequent guests included T.S. Eliot, Rilke, Rodin, Ezra Pound, Colette, Gertrude Stein and Alice Toklas, Djuna Barnes, Isadora Duncan, Radclyffe Hall, Edna St. Vincent Millay, Janet Flanner, Andre Gide, Jean Cocteau, Peggy Guggenheim, Sinclair Lewis, Sherwood Anderson, Thornton Wilder, Virgil Thomson, Truman Capote, Mary McCarthy, Marguerite Yourcenar, Somerset Maugham, Ford Maddox Ford, William Carlos Williams, F. Scott Fitzgerald, James Joyce a few times, but never Hemingway. He was probably jealous that she could keep women longer than he could, and that she kept them enthralled despite juggling multiple long-term open relationships, including one with the painter Romaine Brooks for fifty years, as well as Elisabeth de Gramont and Oscar's niece Dolly Wilde. When she was newly arrived in Paris, she seduced the most famous courtesan by dressing as a page and presenting herself at the woman's house. Not only did it work, but this Liane de Pougy wrote a book about their affair which captivated France and went through 70 printings in its first year, 1901. Such zest kept Natalie Barney going until 1972, when she died at ninety-five.