Books: Mandarin & Mucker

DEATH OF A HIGHBROW (256 pp.)—Frank Swlnnerfon—Doubleday ($4.50).

A quiet voice on the BBC announced that Tom Curtal was dead. In his darkened study, over a supper of claret and dry biscuits, 79-year-old Graham Stanhope was at first shocked, then breathed in relief, "Thank God! Thank God!" With Curtal dead. Stanhope became Britain's unchallenged grand old man of letters.

Best of all. he was finally freed of the terror of Curtal's malicious pen.

Thunderous Picnic. The death ended a literary vendetta as implacable as any feud in the Kentucky hills. Tall, handsome Stanhope and rude, arrogant Curtal spent a lifetime competing for women, fame,...

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