A well-researched account of a fascinating life. Sheridan was that rare creature, a non-Italian to 'make' it at La Scala in early fascist Italy. At times, the drama of her own life competed with the travails of the operatic heroines she played Reputedly Puccini's favouite Butterfly, Sheridan rowed with Toscanini, faced hostile audiences in xenophobic Cremona, conducted doomed affairs, even suffering the public suicide of one rejected admirer during a performance. Chambers presents a warm, witty, ultimately courageous woman. She makes it clear, too, that Sheridan possessed a skill almost as essential as her artistry - the ability to cultivate figures as diverse as Marconi, the Courtaulds and the Cunards who had the wherewithal to support her career. Her last days, as a faded former diva tottering down Grafton Street in full stage make-up and the Milanese fashions of twenty years before, are poignant - though it seems she retained her wit and charm (if not her voice) to the end.