Well tailored to fit the subject- the making and unmaking of a gentleman of fashion, in the 18th century when Europe measured a man by his fitness to appear at court. The story starts in fashionable Venice, in 1757, when young Richard Morandi, only son of a dressmaker whose sincerity in love had outweighed her ambition for herself and unborn son, is given his first chance to make a name for himself on the stage. That at the same time he won the enmity of one gallant -- and the love of a beautiful dancer, a poor relation of the host, determined the next years of his life. These embraced shattered aspirations for a stage career, a rugged term in the galleys, rescue and recognition by his renowned father, an English nobleman, and substitution for the life he had dreamed of by the life his father chose for him. In this he goes far- but is always playing a part,- whether as a fine gentleman, an heroic soldier with Wolfe's forces in Canada, a spy for England's throne in Paris. But when the acid test comes- he knows it is his little dancer he loves, and not the courtesan his father had chosen for him. Good entertainment, with Shellabarger's dependable background rooted in scholarly exploration of period, personalities and history.