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Ralph Rochester has researched in detail the last months of the life of Williamina Belsches, a prominent member of Edinburgh Society and the first love of Sir Walter Scott. With the onset of war with France, the South West of England became a fashionable retreat for those invalids, like Williamina, who suffered from tuberculosis. Williamina chose the village of Lympstone as a suitable place to find relief for her illness, taking with her Jem, the youngest of her six children, from whom she could not bear to be parted. Rochester intersperses the moving story of the last days of Williamina with chapters on daily life in the village. The book gives a fascinating insight both to Edinburgh society and life in Lympstone in Georgian times.