Mistress of the Elgin Marbles
Susan Nagel
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Buy *Mistress of the Elgin Marbles: A Biography of Mary Nisbet, Countess of Elgin* online

Mistress of the Elgin Marbles: A Biography of Mary Nisbet, Countess of Elgin
Susan Nagel
William Morrow
320 pages
August 2004
rated 3 1/2 of 5 possible stars

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Mistress of the Elgin Marbles is the story of a woman of extraordinary influence in a time when women had little if any influence on anything. Her name was Mary Nisbet, and she was the Countess of Elgin. This book was written through the unprecedented access to the private and personal letters of the lady herself and through accounts of her life that survive to this day. It is a story rife with romance, danger and scandal about the intriguing and very beautiful woman who became one of the most influential women of the Romantic era - her enormous impact on world culture is still felt to this day. She was the wealthiest heiress in Scotland and the wife of the diplomat Thomas Bruce, the seventh Earl of Elgin. She traveled to Turkey when her husband was appointed Ambassador Extraordinaire there. This journey changed history.

Among her accomplishments are bringing the smallpox vaccine to the Middle East, financing the removal and safe passage of priceless marbles from the Parthenon, and striking a deal with Napoleon that would put any politician to shame. Unfortunately, all of these accomplishments were ultimately overshadowed by her affair with her husbandís best friend and the messy divorce that followed.

Mistress of the Elgin Marbles is a well-written book that will delight any history lover.

© 2004 by Camden Alexander for curledup.com.

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