As courtesans, fashion icons, political pawns and international celebrities, the great ballerinas have played a multitude of roles both on and off the stage. They have moved from the courts of kings to stages around the globe, from the highs of public adoration to the lows of injury and scandal. But few people know the full story. British prima ballerina Darcey Bussell spent two decades at the top, performing all the great roles in the classical repertoire and becoming one of ballet's most famous faces. She explores the changing role of the ballerina. Journeying from 18th-century France to 1950s America, she examines the challenges that her predecessors encountered, discovers the women who broke the rules and reveals what it takes to be one of the greats. A feast for the senses, Darcey's Ballerina Heroines is an authoritative history of the best ballets and the finest ballerinas.