Book Failure! Mistress of the Elgin Marbles

“In 1707, during the reign of Queen Anne, England and Scotland ratified an agreement officially creating the United Kingdom.”

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

So, this book was a big bust.  I should have been right up my wheelhouse - biography of a strong minded woman with an exciting life story, and I just. could. not. finish. it.  I even renewed it from the library once before I gave up.  I blame Nagel, because Mary Nisbet is an interesting character - she was the wealthiest woman in Scotland, who married an English lord, and then when to Turkey with him where he was the ambassador.  She charmed the pants off the Turks, gaining access to places women had never before been (such as the Sultan’s harem).  Then she somehow charmed the pants off Napoleon, who captured her husband (but let him go, I guess thanks to her influence - I never really got that far).  Then, had some sort of spectacular affair and ended up leaving her husband in a notorious divorce suit where she kept her money but lost her children (which is what she really wanted).  It sounds so, so interesting, but I never found out what happened, because the writing was not great.  I can’t really point to a specific example (well, particularly because I returned the book to the library more than a month ago), but I just could not bring myself to keep reading.  Even interesting things like the harem seemed dull, and I couldn’t bring myself to care.  Sorry, Countess Nesbit.


Categories: Book failure, library book, Dewey Decimal (this was a 900 book, but I forget the exact call number).

© Carrie Dunsmore 2017