Romantic melodrama, rooted in historical research, for the sort of Cinderella story that delights the reading public. Parallels with the Simpson-Edward VIII ""scandal"" of our Limen are obvious; the love affair between the ""scandalous Mrs. Blackford"" and the Grand Duke Nicholas of Russia, nephew of the Czar, shook an empire- and the end result of this earlier romance was separation and exile. The story is a fabulous and fascinating one. Harriet Ely, daughter of a Philadelphia elergyman and a mother who exaggerated her Southern heritage, broke with the bonds of restraint, ran away with a do well, and widowed early seized the opportunity to live a life of luxury rather than struggle against the genteel poverty her mother imposed. From Philadelphia's ittenhouse Square to Paris and then to St. Petersburg, she moved in ascending circles of fabulous splendour and became the most talked of demi-mondaine of her day. But in the table, erratic and charming Grand Duke she found the one true love of her life, and their romance is told with full panoply of the Russian court, seen in snatched, secret moments, and of fantastic flights over much of Europe. A skillful rendering of history into fiction, based on material unearthed in contemporary journalism, newly discovered iaries and letters, and diplomatic data in our own national archives.