Books: The Unhappy Idyl

'DEAREST EMMIE' by Carl J. Weber. 111 pages. St Martin's Press. $5.

The tragedy of Emma Lavinia Gifford, as she repeatedly confided to her diary, was that she married a man beneath her. He was a writer of sorts, but so was she; and when callers such as Ford Madox Ford and Sir Edmund Gosse dropped around, she was fond of pulling out her poems and rattling off lines like these:

There's a song of a bird in a tree,— A song that is fresh, gay, and free, The voice of a last summer's thrush, Shaking out...

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