A vivid semi-historical novel of San Francisco at the turn of the century. Whether there is foundation of fact in the characters and plot, or whether only the setting and incidents and minor characters are drawn from the archives of the city, only a native son would know. But for the rest of us, it is a good story, and gives a sense of the peculiar and unique flavor of that queen of cities at the Golden Gate. Charles Caldwell Dobie knows whereof he writes, and every turn of phrase seems to bring the city to life, -- old and new jostling elbows, Chinatown and the Barbary Coast and the Market Street joints and the oddly assorted types of humanity that drifted together there. Against this setting is told the story of a young aspiring artist -- and of his love (and hate) for the milliner's apprentice who aimed to have a career like Du Barry, and who kept her heart for him, through storm and stress. An important book, sure of a good press, and of the impetus of local sales through the west, to start the ball rolling.