The many talents this author has displayed in writing, in theater and even in looks, have been extended to include a nice bit of research and scholarship. It's too much...for one woman. But her interests in ""La Belle Epoque"" have collected a portrait of Paris that displays its elegance, its alive and frivolous aspects, its feeling that the ""cost of living was low but the value of life was high"". She assembles ""Le gratin"" (the upper crust) and the boulevardiers, the salons and their leading lights, big and little lions and lesser lights (from prone positions), for a parade that passes from one level to another. Together with her special subjects, Mme de Loynes, Tristan Bernard, Robert de Montesquiou and others, are those in the same or similar circles Sarah Bernhardt, Gultry, Dumas, Anatole France and many more from all areas of the arts; there are dandies and exquisite, lavish entertainments and intimate gatherings, cocottes and grander dames; and there are rebels, royalists, snobs, sharp wits and rapier words. The last decade of an aging century is here viewed with an indulgent eye, a persuasive enthusiasm, and is recorded by a delighted -- and a delightful-- investigator. A specially.