This was a very well written and witty book. I often read history books (which is, of course, useful being a history student) and they are usually pedantic, dull, and incredibly long-winded. An English lecturer once bewailed that historians have a certain way of writing. They do. Long and boring usually. Every so often a fast and vibrant history book with come winging its way into one's lap and this is one of them. Nancy Mitford's writing style is fresh, funny, and has personality but stays with the facts. The only other history writer to engage me fully was perhaps A.N. Wilson (writer of The Victorians and After The Victorians). Both writers tell you what happened as though they are sat right before you filling your head full of studies and personalities that have fascinated them which, to me, is what reading history should be like... it definitely should not feel like a chore.
From reading this book and becoming enthusiastic about Ms Mitford's style of writing within the context of historical tomes I've purchased her 'Madame de Pompadour' book and shall soon be obtaining a copy of her work on Frederick the Great.
In short this was a great read; fast, fresh and intriguing!