A biographical summation of that ""writer of incomparable novels""- the inscription on the tombstone of Marie Louise Rame, better known as Quida, whose fullblown romantic stories held a Victorian audience captive and expressed a passionate temperament, a splendid if somewhat vehement imagination. A rather ordinary childhood revealed only the ambition to write which her first stories, and then her novels achieved. If they earned popularity, they also attached a certain notoriety to her name which widened the social dimensions of her life, first in London, later in Italy where she spent many years and where she fell in love suddenly, but lastingly, with della Stufa, a Florentine aristocrat. Her long competition with a Mrs. Ross for the charming but weak della Stufa led her to ridiculous indiscretions- both in person and in print, and her defeat left her to face the last years alone, her circumstances declining along with her circle of friends... Period portraiture of ""a unique flamboyant lady"", this does justice to the era as well as its exemplar and it is gracefully detailed and discerned. As such it is more likely to attract contemporary readers than the object of its scrutiny who is little remembered and little read today.