The Purple Moth
I remember distinctly the first time I read James Pope-Hennessy’s Queen Mary. It was a scorching hot August afternoon in Umbria. Retreating indoors in search of shade, I picked up the fat paperback I had dithered about packing, begrudging the weight it would add to my Ryanair baggage allowance. Like so many paperbacks taken on holiday, I expected it to disappoint, but I was instantly gripped.