Books: King of Cads

FRANK HARRIS: THE LIFE AND LOVES OF A SCOUNDREL (246 pp.)—Vincent Brome—Thomas Yoseloff ($5).

Had he not been a thundering liar. Frank Harris would have been a great autobiographer. He shared with the major self-portrait artists—Cellini, Pepys, Boswell and Rousseau—the paradoxical but necessary combination of a surging pride and a vestigial sense of shame. But he had the crippling disqualification that he told the truth, as Max Beerbohm once remarked, only "when his invention flagged."

In his notorious four volumes, My Life and Loves—the first installment of which was published in 1923, when he...

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