According to the 1747 publication The Art of Governing a Wife, women in Georgian England were to "lay up and save, look to the house, talk to few and take of all within." However, some women broke from these directives and took up the distinctly male privilege of traveling to the Continent to develop mind, spirit, and body.For many the Grand Tour -- often undertaken in great parades of coaches laden with servants, trunks, and furniture -- became an intellectual and romantic rite of passage. The landscape, health spas, salons, and social scene of Enlightenment Europe provided a wealth of glamorous, revolutionary, and therapeutic experiences from which many ladies returned "the best informed and most perfect creatures."Brian Dolan leads us into the hearts and minds of the ladies through their stories, thoughts, and court gossip, recorded in journals, letters, and diaries. Ladies of the Grand Tour creates a mesmerizing portrait of a previously overlooked slice of eighteenth-century life.