A brilliant, well researched biography of fascinating and eccentric woman who came from a wealthy and privileged background and wound up immersed in the seedy jazz world of mid twentieth century New York. The Baroness Koenigswarter was a woman of great beauty, courage and single mindedness who combined a hedonistic lifestyle with giving a leg up to the often dysfunctional, socially and economically deprived characters who honed and evolved their music in the clubs of 52nd Street, Manhattan, in its heyday. In particular she was devoted to the mentally deranged Thelonius Monk. As well a evoking the crazy world of the mid-town New York of the time, in complete contrast it also traces the origins of The Rothschild family from its origins in the slum ghetto of Frankfurt to great wealth and influence in the countries of Western Europe and then to the family's decline as many of the succeeding generations became less interested in banking and increasingly eccentric in their lifestyles. The Baroness was perhaps the prime example of the latter. A book I couldn't put down.