When William Hazlitt published Liber Amoris, his 'book of love', in 1823, scandal rocked the literary world. He had chosen as the object for his grand Romantic passion a mere serving maid - and she had disillusioned him by proving just as tawdry as all the rest. But what of Sarah Walker, the victim of Hazlitt's unfortunate obsession? In a magnificent work of imaginative empathy, Anne Haverty rescues her from silence and obscurity to let her tell her side of the story. She describes her gradual seduction by the wild man of letters as she tried to ward off inappropriate advances without offending him, but can't help being fascinated by his stories of revolutionary France and the pleasures of Italy.