A collection of twenty reviews, essays and pieces of memoir selected from three decades of the author's contributions to the London review of books. Subjects include Robespierre and Danton, the Hite report, Saudi Arabia (where she lived for four years in the 1980s), the Bulger case, John Osborne, the Virgin Mary as well as the pop icon Madonna, and Helen Duncan, Britain's last witch. There are essays about Jane Boleyn, Charles Brandon, Christopher Marlowe and Margaret Pole, Her famous lecture, 'Royal Bodies', which caused a media frenzy, explores the place of royal women in society and our imagination. Here too are some of her LRB diaries, including her first meeting with her stepfather and a confrontation with a circus strongman. Interleaved with letters and other ephemera gathered from the archive.