Books: Frustrated Novelist

Because of young Benito Mussolini's fleshy romance, The Cardinal's Mistress, and young Adolf Hitler's well-meaning water colors, citizens of the world now have some reason for a nervous interest in the problems of frustrated writers and artists. Ranking with these dictators' grade C works is another novel brought to light by the French literary magazine, Revue des Deux Mondes.

It is Napoleon's Clisson et Eugénie, written shortly before the 26-year-old artillery officer, shabby, suffering from itch and malaria—appreciated only by a few of his colleagues—made his name by smashing a royalist coup in...

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