Books: The First Bestsellers

SIR WALTER SCOTT, HIS LIFE & PERSONALITY (295 pp.)—Hesketh Pearson—Harper ($4).

ALEXANDRE DUMAS, A GREAT LIFE IN BRIEF (198 pp.)—André Maurois—Knopf ($2.50).

The two writers were as different as Scotch and Burgundy. Sir Walter Scott (1771-1832) was a gentleman genius who practically invented the historical novel, and wrote out of rich learning in Scotland's romantic past; Alexandre Dumas (1802-1870) was a brilliant upstart who wrote with "the overflow of a gush of personality," and used the help of educated men to do the research for many of his best stories. Scott was lamed by a child hood attack of polio and...

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