Elegantly written... The author deftly interweaves the ups and downs of Maria Theresa's running contest with Frederick the Great with the vicissitudes of her life as Europe's most prolific procreator... a lively account... rich storytelling.
In the Shadow of the Empress is engrossing historical storytelling, filled with suspense, tantalizing mysteries, intimate family drama, and details of terror, cruelty, courage, and passion, set in the revolutionary cauldron of eighteenth-century Europe.
In the Shadow of the Empress is a virtuoso performance, Goldstone at the peak of her creative abilities... the depth of her research and the acuity of her insights are outstanding.
Nancy Goldstone's volume...has much to recommend it...What she does deliver is a highly readable narrative, with plenty of good anecdotes drawn from contemporary memoirs and lively pen-portraits.
Adding wry humor to her lucid narrative, Goldstone clarifies the era's complex politics and pinpoints how these commanding women helped give shape to modern Europe. This mesmerizing history isn't to be missed.
Nancy Goldstone has the amazing ability of taking on huge subjects-in her latest work, she concerns herself with the life of Empress Maria Theresa and three of her sixteen children, her favorite, the archduchess Maria Christina, Maria Carolina, queen of Naples, and the tragic and famous Queen Marie Antoinette-and turning very complicated stories into a thrilling and coherent narrative. Her deep knowledge of the period, her clear-eyed empathy for her subjects and her effortless style makes for a riveting, entertaining and enlightening book.