This exotic autobiography covers, in a wealth of detail, the first twenty three years of a crowded life. Mama, a descendant of the playwright, Sheridan, was an eccentric sculptress who adopted odd costumes, politics, people and countries. Her children grew up in an almost Waugh-novel world of English country homes and aristocracy, sojourns on the Baltic, the Constantinople, and in Algeria, and famous friends (Baruch, Munthe), and colorful local inhabitants. At twenty, Miss Motley struck out alone on several trips across the Sahara, making friends with archeologists, French soldiers and wild tribesmen. There are too many scattered stories, and too little of the author's feelings, to make this an entirely coherent book. But the material and people are fascinating, and the dry, witty, matter-of-fact style gives a diaristic sense of authenticity.