| Selected for the Richard and Judy Book Club, 2005.
Shortlisted for British Book Awards ‘Best Read’
Longlisted for Samuel Johnson Prize
Longlisted for British Academy Book Award
No. 6 in Sunday Times bestseller list.
‘A fine biographer has conjured up a dazzling personality and brought her, laughing, back to life.’ Sunday Times
‘Imagine Nicole Kidman, Monica Lewinsky, Susan Sontag and Madonna all rolled into one, then ask yourself, how is it that we’ve never heard of her? Utterly absorbing, Paula Byrne’s Perdita restores a measure of fame to a woman who, though a product of her time, seems our near-contemporary in her understanding of the workings of celebrity.’ Vogue
‘Amazing … a more intimate insight into a woman and her epoch than contemporary readers could otherwise imagine. Byrne paints an unforgettable picture … Not just an important addition to our knowledge of history but also a highly enjoyable story.’ Washington Post Book World
‘A well-researched and hugely entertaining biography. It pulsates like a good historical romance, full of melodrama, intrigue and twists of fate. Eat your heart out, Georgette Heyer.’ Sydney Morning Herald
‘A work of genuine scholarship … a masterly portrait of a remarkable woman.’ Sunday Telegraph
‘A superbly researched and narrated life.’ Miranda Seymour, Sunday Times
‘Byrne writes with remarkable knowledge of period nuances and delivers spot-on observations. She convincingly understands what went on inside Robinson's head as wife, actress, mistress and writer … Hers is an important literary biography, though it is far more than that. Byrne is too smart to limit her heroine.’
Martin Levy, San Francisco Chronicle
‘A very fine and pleasurable biography.’ Nora Crook, Times Literary Supplement
‘She was, many believed, the most beautiful woman in England. And one of the most fascinating … small wonder that Perdita has been dubbed the Madonna of the eighteenth century. A scholarly, entertaining and well-written book.’ Adam Sisman, Literary Review