Friday, June 29, 2007

Pg. 99: "Mistress of the Elgin Marbles"

The current feature at the Page 99 Test: Susan Nagel's Mistress of the Elgin Marbles: A Biography of Mary Nisbet, Countess of Elgin.

About the book, from the publisher:
The remarkable Mary Nisbet was the Countess of Elgin in Romantic-era Scotland and the wife of the seventh Earl of Elgin. When Mary accompanied her husband to diplomatic duty in Turkey, she changed history. She helped bring the smallpox vaccine to the Middle East, struck a seemingly impossible deal with Napoleon, and arranged the removal of famous marbles from the Parthenon. But all of her accomplishments would be overshadowed, however, by her scandalous divorce. Drawing from Mary's own letters, scholar Susan Nagel tells Mary's enthralling, inspiring, and suspenseful story in vibrant detail.
Among the praise for Mistress of the Elgin Marbles:
"Absorbing ... required reading for anyone interested in cultural history as well as the art of biography."

"A unique life related with animation, admiration, and affection but also faithfully and unfancifully."

"A sympathetic and emotionally charged portrait of Mary ... [written] with insight and compassion yet without sentimentality."
--Publishers Weekly

"A highly entertaining biography of the alluring Lady Elgin, whose husband notoriously swiped the legendary sculptures from Athens’ Parthenon and shipped them back to England. Nagel’s heroine belongs to my favorite species of aristocratic women — the fearless, headstrong wanderer."
--Tina Brown
Browse inside Mistress of the Elgin Marbles and read a brief excerpt.

Susan Nagel has written for the stage, the screen, scholarly journals, the Gannett newspaper chain, and Town & Country, and is the author of a critically acclaimed book on the novels of Jean Giraudoux.

The Page 99 Test: Mistress of the Elgin Marbles.

--Marshal Zeringue