Books: Hero's Doxy

PATRIOTIC LADY—Marjorie Bowen—Appleton-Century ($3).

To the near-sighted eyes of posterity, historical figures are apt to loom larger and more beautiful than they do under the historian's microscope. To every true-blue Briton, Horatio Nelson was one of England's greatest heroes, and his beauteous Lady Hamilton the fitting Venus to his Mars. But not to the microscopic eye of Biographer Marjorie Bowen* whose tale is enough to turn a true-blue Briton purple or green, set Nelson himself whirling on his Trafalgar column.

Emma, Lady Hamilton did not start as a lady, and according to Biographer Bowen,...

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