As gay and charming as his operas is the figure of Rossini as suggested in this biography. Although little attention is given to his musical conceptions, per se, this biography which concentrates largely on Rossini's ardent attachment to the egomaniacal primadonna, Isabella Colbran, alludes to a strong relationship between this involvement and the operas. Adored by women, by his co-workers, and by his fellow Italians, Rossini ironically picked as his love object one of the most resented women in Europe. His futile effort to reach her, their agitated marriage, his constant effort to protect her from the misery attendant on her failing voice, and his spontaneous musical success, all go to make up the fabric of this account which naturally follows the author's last biography, The Magnificent Garcias. Despite repeated stylistic flaws, Gladys Malvern writes with such conviction and exuberance that one finally overlooks the awkwardness of prose, swept along by her attractive enthusiasm.