Books: Auchincloss's Rules of the Game

THE DARK LADY by Louis Auchincloss 246 pages. Houghton Mifflin. $8.95.

The U.S. prefers to see itself as egalitarian though it is much impressed by class. Buck and Jim turned their raft into a royal bedchamber for the King and the Duke, Grace Kelly got a regal send-off when she left Hollywood to become Princess to the world's finest amusement park, and the Kennedys were empurpled by the press.

Yet American literature—as defined by the academic elite—seldom offers sympathetic reflections of homegrown aristocracies. The books of Henry James and Edith Wharton are...

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