Despite not feeling much sympathy for Harriet in the end, I had to give the book 5 stars. Harriet's life covers the second half of the 18th century and the first couple of decades of the 19th century, a timespan which covers a great deal of political turmoil in Europe and America. Harriet was closely involved in politics from quite a young age through her parents and her sister Georgiana, The Duchess of Devonshire. She was a prolific letter writer and many of her letters still survive forming the basis for this book. This gives the reader an excellent first hand insight into social and political customs of the day, all presented in a light and easily understandable manner by the author, no mean feat considering the material.