This book is a curious dichotomy - half serious history, based as it is around primary documents and half celebrity bio, with catty asides and lots of gossip. The sidebars enhance the background information, but this historian would also liked to have seen footnotes.
That aside, its easy style and fascinating subject won this reviewer over.
© Teresa Eckford, 2005
This review first appeared in the November 2005 issue of The Historical Novels Review