I didn’t realize when I purchased this book it was based on a true story. Interestingly it had a decidedly modern problem. Empress Elizabeth of Austria was considered at the time, late 19th century, the most beautiful woman in the world. She had been empress since she was 16, had hair that hung below her knees and was a consummate horsewoman. However she also was under constant public scrutiny. Like royalty and stars of today, she was unable to move about freel. She always felt like she was on display.
Elizabeth, known to intimates as Sisi, spends hunting season in England. There she meets Bay Middleton through Earl of Spencer (yes Princess Diana’s great great grandfather). He was her pilot, a guide for the hunt. Charlotte Baird, a young heiress has fallen in love with Bay who has become a favorite of the Empress.
The story is a fictional account based on historical facts. Money, power, love, politics all come into play. Just like today private lives aren’t so private and the insecurity women feel over aging and beauty is as prevalent today as it was then. I enjoyed this book especially knowing it was based on facts.