• An absorbing biography ... meticulously researched... scholarly and intriguing

    Peter Ackroyd, The Times
  • A biography that reads as thrillingly as a detective story, and is rich in details and authoritative in its analysis

    Miranda Seymour, Sunday Times
  • Fascinating... A book based on gold-standard research, the kind of thing that puts most popular history writing to shame

    Kathryn Hughes, Mail on Sunday
  • Rarely have first-class scholarship and first-class storytelling been so effectively combined

    John Adamson, Daily Telegraph

Strictly Necessary


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