Madam X

When I announced my retirement last summer, I was bemused when so many people refused to believe me. It turned out some of you knew me better than I know myself. Lately I’ve felt like Mark Twain whose obituary was prematurely published in America after he fell ill in London. His response was a cable fired off to the offending newspaper stating, “The reports of my death are greatly exaggerated.”  I hereby declare, rather sheepishly, that the same is true of my retirement. So why another book when, after working over half a century, I was free to focus on gardening, travel, films, volunteer work and reading?  My undoing came in a book on the Randolphs of Virginia and a woman who spawned what was arguably the biggest scandal in 18th Century...

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