A popular and skilled purveyor of history -- Good Bye, My Son. The Incorruptible. The Marriage of Josephine etc., -- the author here delves further into gossip of the French court, and less notorious incidents. For this is the tragi-comedy of the bemused passion of Louise d'Orleans, La Grande Mademoiselle, wealthy cousin of Louis XIV, who had been used many times as an international pawn, for the too clever, too scheming Lauzun, whose dislike of the older woman was tempored by his ambition for position and money. The story all the intrigue behind the affair -- Lauzun's able if perfidious, efforts to keep Mademoiselle in check until the perfect moment; Madame de Montespan's fear of Lauzun's knowledge of her part in satanic rites and her determination for revenge; the high point when Louis permitted the marriage, only to break his promise soon after; the secret marriage and its sequel; Lauzun's arrest, imprisonment and superhuman efforts to escape; Mademoiselle's bribe to the King's favorite to buy Lauzun's freedom -- and the acid-bitter realization of the kind of little man she had blindly worshipped for so many years.....Finesse in the handling keeps this from a note of farce and the aging Mademoiselle ends her story in a manner. French history and decor are a substantial backdrop for adept fictionization.