Books: Wheeler's Progress

THE MUDLARK (305 pp.)—Theodore Bonnet—Doubleday ($3).

For late summer days the Book-of-the-Month Club has chosen this breezy tale about a seven-year-old ragamuffin who wandered into Queen Victoria's dining room one evening, and thereby briefly set the Empire on its ear. Since it appears that something like this did happen once upon a time, Author Bonnet's job in The Mudlark was to fluff up the fact into a light historical novel. This, with the help of a lot of imaginary speeches and caperings by the Queen, William Gladstone and Benjamin Disraeli, he has done well enough.

Little Wheeler, who started the whole thing, was...

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