Dead by the age of seven, the poetic prodigy Marjory Fleming (1803-1811) was the youngest person to be granted an entry in Leslie Stephen's DICTIONARY OF NATIONAL BIOGRAPHY. Oriel Malet,. something of a prodigy herself, wrote this astonishing little biography of Fleming in 1946 at age twenty. Although several biographies of Fleming had been written in the preceding century, and Malet's book owes much to Lytton Strachey's QUEEN VICTORIA (particularly in its descriptions of a child's ungovernable temperament), this novelized biography is a little miracle in its own right. Malet doesn't quite get down the way educated Regency Scottish children like Marjory spoke (the invented dialogue is often at odds with Marjory's own archly sophisticated observations in her diary), yet even still malet captured something not only about the involving struggle of a child straining to master language but the odd pitched battle in our souls from those to whom we feel we ought to owe our gravest debts and those whom we truly love the most.