Anka Muhlstein was born in Paris in 1935. She has published biographies of Queen Victoria, James de Rothschild, Cavelier de La Salle, and Astolphe de Custine; studies on Catherine de Médicis, Marie de Médicis, and Anne of Austria; a double biography, Elizabeth I and Mary Stuart; and more recently, Monsieur Proust’s Library and Balzac’s Omelette (Other Press). She has won two prizes from the Académie Française and the Goncourt Prize for Biography. She contributes regularly to the New York Review of Books. She and her husband, Louis Begley, have written a book on Venice, Venice for Lovers. They live in New York City.