Books: Political Passion

THE PRIVATE LETTERS OF BKINCESS LIEVEN — Edited by Peter Quennell — Dutton ($3.75).

To their contemporaries, the surprising thing about the marriage of Prince and Princess Lieven was that it lasted for almost 40 years. Russian Ambassador to England after the Napoleonic wars, Lieven was an upright, punctilious, short-sighted wittol whose portrait makes him look like an aristocratic Andy Gump. Dorothea, his wife, was "the most feared, most flattered, worst hated female politician of her day." Because Dorothea was known to be the mistress of Metternich, and because she was on very...

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