Carol Burnell read English literature at Columbia University as a Woodrow Wilson
Fellow. After several years spent teaching, she entered government service, notably
in the White House as an aide to the First Lady and later writing speeches for the
American ambassador to France, while serving in the US Embassy. In reading the papers
of a former resident of the White House, Thomas Jefferson, and following the Paris
footsteps of the second American envoy to France, the same Mr Jefferson, she discovered
and became fascinated by the charming Mrs Cosway.
Living in France for over twenty years, where she worked as a speechwriter for a
large international company, the author pursued her interest in Maria Cosway’s life,
carrying out research in Italy, France, Britain, and the United States.