Books: Bucks & Rocks

A RAKE AND HIS TIMES (280 pp.)—John H. Wilson—Farrar, Straus & Young ($4).

RAKE ROCHESTER (224 pp.]—Charles Norman—Crown ($3).

King Charles II believed in God, but pictured him as an easygoing fellow who would not "make a man miserable . . . for taking a little pleasure out of the way." This belief enabled Charles to 1) get a great deal of pleasure out of a multitude of mistresses, 2) swell the British peerage with royal by-blows. 3) set an example that his courtiers were happy to follow. Like crumbs from the royal table, his discarded ladies were snapped up first by noble...

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