Here's romance and glamour and adventure and melodrama; enough of the sordid side of a demi-mondaine's life to shock the conservatives, but enough of the psychology and the human side to give it pathos. An American wandering in Italy meets a beautiful and mysterious woman on an errand of mercy; she befriends him, eventually sits for her portrait and gives him the material for her life story, to show others how to avoid the pitfalls into which she stumbled. From a forced marriage in girlhood, to her mother's ex-lover, she learns escape through education and becomes the pivot of the inner circle of Paris, Faubourg St. Germain. But she falls in love, and the condemnation when her honesty forbids concealment thrusts her onto a path she had not chosen. Murder -- divorce -- escape with a titled Russian -- a simple life which no one credited -- a charitable gesture towards a lonely young Englishman, misunderstood by all -- a passionate attachment to a young Italian -- so on through the gamut of emotions we follow her. Extremely well done, smooth and skilful rendering of a difficult story. Should be the answer to the season's demand for romance plus.