Mary King Waddington was an American married to a French diplomat. This book consists of the lively, and descriptive letters she sent back to her family. They are almost like diary entries, fresh and true descriptions of her experiences. A large part of the book is devoted to the 1883 coronation of Russian Tsar Alexander III. The rest is devoted to life at the court of Queen Victoria during the last years of her reign. Waddington was a fluent and chatty letter writer. She includes details of what all the assorted queens and princesses wore to balls, coronations, and audiences, as well as excellent anecdotes. Waddington wrote her letters just after and, in some cases, during the events she describes. There is a vividness to her writings that one rarely finds in memoirs. A fun read for those interested in the Russian and English courts during the end of the 19th century and start of the 20th.
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