Books: Deep in the Heart

ELISABET NEY—Jon Fortune and Jean Burton—Knopf ($3).

Eccentrics, if handled with tenderness and humor, make glorious copy for a biographer. They are encumbered with outsize versions of human desires and disillusionments. One of the best living purveyors of eccentrics is Jean Burton of Berkeley, Calif. She proved it in her biography of her bristling collateral ancestor Richard and his devoted wife (Sir Richard Burton's Wife—TIME, June 23, 1941), proves it again (with Texan Jan Fortune) in a study of Elisabet Ney.

Elisabet was a grandniece of that intrepid Marshal of Napoleon who led a...

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