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Betsy Prioleau

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Occupation  Author
Language  English

Name  Betsy Prioleau
Role  Author
Betsy Prioleau httpsuploadwikimediaorgwikipediacommonsthu
Alma mater  University of Virginia Duke University
Genre  Cultural history, seduction
Books  Swoon: Great Seducers and Why Women Love Them
Education  University of Virginia, Duke University

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Betsy Prioleau is an American author, radio personality, and cultural historian. Prioleau is most known for writing Swoon: Great Seducers and Why Women Love Them and Seductress: Women Who Ravished the World and Their Lost Art of Love.


Betsy Prioleau Betsy Prioleau author of Swoon on tour MarchApril 2013 TLC Book

Moll anderson interviews betsy prioleau

Early life and education

Prioleau was born and raised in Richmond, Virginia. She graduated from the University of Virginia with a B.S. and M.A. in English and received a Ph.D. in American Literature at Duke University.


After completing her Ph.D., she taught English and World Literature at Manhattan College where she was an associate tenured professor. She then taught cultural history at New York University Liberal Studies Program. Prioleau regularly appears on radio shows as an expert on seduction and related topics. She was the co-host of Errol Gluck's popular podcast, GluckRadio from 2013 to 2014 until she left the show to pursue a writing project.


Prioleau has written essays, scholarly articles, and three books. Proleau's first book was titled Circle of Eros: Sexuality in the Work of William Dean Howells. In 2003, she wrote Seductress: Women Who Ravished the World and Their Lost Art of Love. Her latest book is titled Swoon: Great Seducers and Why Women Love Them, which she released in 2013.

The Circle of Eros

The Circle of Eros: Sexuality in the Work of William Dean Howells is a study of the nineteenth-century American author and editor William Dean Howells. The book discusses the sexual themes in his novels, essays, and autobiographies, and shows how he arrived at a positive view of erotic love.


Prioleau published Seductress: Women Who Ravished the World and Their Lost Art of Love in 2003. The book re-examines seductresses, refutes the negative stereotypes, and portrays the lives of such women as Cleopatra, Lola Montez, and Mae West as well as modern women. The book also gives romantic advice to women.

The book received positive reviews. Publishers Weekly wrote that "whether one buys her argument or not, [Seductress is] wildly engaging reading and faultless scholarship. The New York Times wrote that "in this glossy, steam-heated analysis of temptresses and their tactics, no historical chapter is too obscure to provide inspiration."


Swoon: Great Seducers and Why Women Love Them is a non-fiction book which analyses what makes a man attractive to women. Prioleau uses biographies, fiction, and science to discuss the secrets of men throughout the history and today that make them great lovers. On the whole, the book was well received. Jonathan Yardley reviewed the book negatively and wrote that it is "a breezy, once-over-lightly book about sex." Library Journal wrote that, "with exceptional vocabulary and bright prose, Prioleau offers a thoroughly researched, irresistible look at the characteristics of historical and contemporary seducers." Kirkus Reviews called the book, "A fun, frothy complement to cultural historian Prioleau’s Seductress: Women Who Ravished the World."

Personal life

She is married to Phillip Prioleau, a New York City dermatologist.


Betsy Prioleau Wikipedia