"The aim of these stories is not historical exactitude nor unbending accuracy in dates or juxtaposition. They are rather an attempt to recreate the personalities of a succession of charming women, ranging from Elizabeth Pepys, wife of the Diarist, to Fanny Burney and her experiences at the Court of Queen Charlotte. As I have imagined them, so I have set them forth, and if what is written can at all revive their perished grace and the unfading delight of days that now belong to the ages, and to men no more, I shall not have failed. Much is imagination, more is truth, but which is which I scarcely can tell myself. I have wished to set them in other circumstances than those we know." Full of illustrations and portraits.