Books: Diamonds & Bourbons

THE QUEEN'S NECKLACE (620 pp.)—Frances Mossiker—Simon & Schuster ($7.50).

The 18th century citizen wrote memoirs much as his 20th century descendant writes income tax returns—as a matter of course, and with considerable imagination. Author Mossiker has made clever use of these circumstances in retelling the story of the famed diamond necklace theft that threw France into an uproar during the reign of Louis XVI and Marie Antoinette. The reader is invited to discover the truth of the affair—something never established beyond doubt—from a crosscutting of contradictory memoirs and trial briefs, most of...

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