Books: Puckish Proust

A NUMBER OF PEOPLE, Sir Edward Marsh, Harper ($3.50).

Lady Wenlock was so absent-minded that once when she was hunting a pen, she found herself looking for it under P in the French dictionary. Deaf, too, she carried a silver ear trumpet that looked like an entree dish. When she turned it toward an Italian duke at luncheon, he gallantly filled it with green peas.

Sir Edward ("Eddie") Marsh knows as many such stories as there were incredible characters in preWar, bilingual British society. In A Number...

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