World: A Catalogue of Coronets, Some Cut-Rate

The gates of Buckingham Palace will swing open one day this week for a taxi bearing a 9½-lb. tome that to many Englishmen—particularly those whose names do not figure in its 3,088 pages—seems as monumentally irrelevant to postwar Britain as the Domesday Book. To scholars, snobs, statusticians and society hostesses, nonetheless, the 103rd and fattest-ever edition of Burke's Peerage, Baronetage & Knightage is an invaluable, intriguing gazetteer to the proliferating aristocracy.

The nobility has grown so numerous that today it would take 16 double-decker buses to haul all the members of the peerage to the House of Lords. As Emerson observed...

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