This immediate and beguiling transport to the famous Household is accomplished through the witty, affectionate and lively letters of a Lady-in-Waiting to the aged Queen Victoria. Marie Mallet, the editor's mother, served the Queen over a period of fourteen years for three to four months at a time, while marrying and producing a family. However, in spite of the removal from her two sons, occasional stretches of massive Victorian ennui and chilly discomfort, Marie's love for the kind and doting, yet often querulous and impervious, monarch, was an overriding influence. Galas and intimate entertainments; cosy dinners with the Queen after which Marie bemoaned Her Majesty fondness for ""monster, indigestible apples""; a relentless series of mournings (""no sooner had I rigged myself out in tweeds than we are plunged into mourning for the King of Portugal""); and the inevitable, teeth-chattering rides in the winter air-made for a rigorous regimen. However, Marie's devotion to Victoria remained constant. Although she returned briefly to the Court of King Edward VII, she felt, as did her Uncle Alick Yorke, that ""it still all seems as if someone were taking a liberty."" An enchanting, decorous portrait of a vanished era and the last of England's great monarchs.