Books: Characters & Carats

LOST SPLENDOR, by Prince Felix Youssoupoff (307 pp.; Putnam; $4.50), offers the memoirs of the scion of one of Rus sia's great feudal families. Prince Youssoupoff's great-grandmother was Emperor Nicholas I's mistress, and his great-greatgrandfather was a lover of Catherine the Great. The old rake was so rich he had a private theater and ballet, and so dissolute that when he waved his cane all dancers appeared on stage stark naked. Young Prince Felix married a niece of the Czar, vowed he would save the 300-year-old Romanoff dynasty by assassinating Rasputin, the magnetic evil genius of the Czar and Czarina. On...

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