Leopoldine von Blumenthal was a silly woman but a good writer. Distraught at the thought of her darling son campaigning in the Zieten Hussars during the War of the Polish Succession, she betook herself to the estate of his regimental commander, the famous General Zieten, who was her uncle and now too old to fight. Using reports and despatches, he talked her through the course of the war, and in between she asked him about his life and career. The result was this excellent biography, already translated into French and English by the year 1800. Carlyle poked fun at her writing, "veridical but inexact," but I would recommend it above modern biographies.