Books: Back-Door Dramatist

BEAUMARCHAIS—Paul Frischauer—Viking ($3.50).

In outline, the story of Pierre-Augustin Caron, afterward known as the French dramatist Beaumarchais. was typical of the ambitious, unscrupulous men of his age. He belonged in the ranks of those international adventurers and quick-change artists who floated around Europe in the days before the French Revolution, men of talent too restless to be content with their humble stations, too enlightened to accept the prevailing beliefs of their class, too adroit not to squeeze through the crevices that appeared when the social structure began splitting apart. But Beaumarchais' life had...

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