Subtitled "The Amazing Life and Outrageous Times of Grace Dalrymple Elliot, Royal Courtesan," Manning's book is the ideal companion for Georgian/ Regency readers. Using memoirs and biographical research, she writes about the titillating life and times of a legendary woman.

London was a city of hedonism where gambling and wild parties reigned supreme. Though most women stayed at home, Grace took on the world and became one of the most illustrious and scandalous ladies of her time. Once a shy Edinburgh schoolgirl, Grace married, and while her doctor husband sought a divorce, she was pursued by some of England's most powerful men. She became Lord Cholmondeley's mistress and gave birth to a daughter rumored to be the Prince's child.

Grace moved on to the Duc d'Orleans and, as in the film The Lady and the Duke, barely escaped France with her life. Spiced with numerous portraits and actual letters and memoirs, this biography of a notorious woman should certainly delight 21st-century women. You'll likely feel a kinship with such a strong, determined, unconventional woman who, like fictional heroines, lived a fascinating life. (Sep., 432 pp., $25.00)
Reviewed by: 
Kathe Robin