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"The Tsar was handsome in an exotic way, with high cheekbones, a Kalmuck nose set in a chubby, round face, sideburns bushy as a squirrel's tail, and a fresh complexion that resulted, supposedly, from washing his face daily with a block of ice. The imperial shoulders were heavily padded - gossips claimed one was lower than the other - and his cinched-in, wasp waist had to be seen to be believed. Since even a sovereign's buckskin breeches had be to wetted down before they were donned, His Imperial ...more
If you like Jane Austen or Georgette Heyer and you want to know what upper-class life was like on the Continent during the same period, you may want to read this book. The three women who are the subject of the book were at the top of Continental society and knew "everyone who was anyone." Not a heavy biography, but one that is amusing and reads almost like a novel.