Nellie Melba is remembered as a squarish, late middle-aged woman dressed in furs and large hats, an imperious Dame whose voice ruled the world for three decades and inspired a peach and raspberry dessert. But to succeed she had to battle social expectations and misogyny that would have preferred she stay a housewife in outback Queensland rather than parade herself on stage. She endured the violence of a bad marriage, was denied by scandal a true love with the would-be King of France and suffered the loss for more than decade of her only son, stolen by his angry, vengeful father.
Despite these obstacles she built and maintained a career as an opera singer and businesswoman on three continents that made her one of the first international superstars. Award-winning biographer Robert Wainwright presents a very different portrait of this great diva, one which celebrates both her musical contributions and her rich and colourful personal life.
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