Books: Novel Historical

THE LADY FOR RANSOM (274 pp.)] — Alfred Duggan — Coward-McCann ($3.50).

As a writer of historical novels, Englishman Alfred Duggan (The Little Emperors) is out of step with most of the others in his business; he 1) follows history, instead of twisting it to fit his story; 2) is steeped in his subject but does not smell of the library; and 3) keeps sex in its place. Duggan's penalty is that his novels have scant chance to become U.S. bestsellers. His satisfaction on the other hand, can be that he is writing some...