Books: Royal Women

LADY WU by Lin Yutang. 255 pages. Putnam. $4.95.

THE LAST GRAND DUCHESS by Ian Vorres. 264 pages. Scr/bner. $5.95.

"For the study of the good and the bad in women," Ambrose Bierce once remarked, "two women are a needless expense." Not always. In these new biographies of women of importance, one a Chinese empress and the other a Russian princess, some notable virtues and vices of the sex are acutely dramatized by contrast.

Beastly Nature. If the Devil is a woman, her name is undoubtedly Lady Wu. She was Cleopatra, Catherine the Great and Lucrezia Borgia rolled into one, and from A.D. 655...

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