Books: For God & France

THE WARRIOR SAINT (302 pp.)—R.V. C. Bodley—Little, Brown ($4).

The aristocratic young cavalry lieutenant of the French Fourth Hussars had decided to stage an ice carnival for his pert blonde mistress Mimi. When the Moselle froze solid one night in 1879, he had the snow-decked pines along the river bank festooned with gaily colored lanterns. Mimi made her entrance in a sled carved like a swan. At a signal, all lights except those from a bank of flaming punch bowls were doused, and fur-coated flunkies served up a feast of Parisian delicacies and champagne. To cap the party, a clump of snow-cleared...

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