Exceedingly good reading, both as a facet of the American scene (social, political, literary), but as a human picture of a marriage that had much of joy and adventure, and that ultimately crashed on the rocks of an erratic personality. Mrs. Colby was the wife of the one-time Secretary of State, Bainbridge Colby. In telling her story, she goes back to her roots in old New England, and recaptures the spirit of her ancestors and their traditions. Her own childhood, spent partly in Italy, partly in New York, partly in staid New England, is a somewhat tongue-in-cheek revelation of a Victorian upbringing, gently humorous, occasionally nostalgic. Then her marriage -- with its ups and downs, building to the peak in the Washington experience. It is a zestful book, crammed with anecdotal material about famous people, so that it becomes a veritable social register and literary and political gossip sheet, never malicious, often merely human. The book has something of Edith Wharton's A Backward Glance, spiced with Mrs. Harry Lehr's King Lehr and the Gilded Age. Substantial backing on part of the publisher.