Books: Making the Riffle

SILVER PLATTER (454 pp.)—Ellin Berlin —Doubleday ($4.95).

"Marie Louise Antoinette Hungerford. Downvill. Entrée le 15 Janvier 1857. Agée de 13 ans."

These words, written by a Belgian nun in the register of St. Catherine's Female Academy at Benicia, Calif., were as important to Louise Hungerford as if they were inscribed in the Almanach de Gotha. They were her cachet of respectability, her inner answer to the poverty of childhood and the gossiping envy that surrounded her later life. Her father could afford to keep her at St. Catherine's for only a single term. But...

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