In one of her best biographies Mrs. Vance tackles the thorny character of Josephine de la Pagerie with the frankness and poise one sees so little of and welcomes so heartily in juveniles. From the first page her sense of incident proves absorbing and seems to be the result of information skillfully culled from a substantial variety of sources; narrative and expository writing have been combined to make Josephine's story flow with sudden, new interest. The girl leaves Martinique for France and becomes the unfortunate bride of the fop, Alexander de Beauharnais; the old course of the Revolution made her both a widow and an important social figure; she marries the pestering Napoleon and later earns his mixed feelings rather than his complete devotion. We are shown the many sides of her character and they fascinate because they are real. Frustrated, faithless, loving, selfish, bored, passionate, caught in history's forces, Josephine is shown and her expertly simplified story should do much to make young people aware of the wider interest of history itself.