Books: Woman of Serial Lives

CLARE BOOTHE LUCE by Wilfrid Sheed; Dutton; 183 pages; $12.95

She was a famous beauty, an even more celebrated playwright, a magazine editor, an actress. She was the wife of Henry R. Luce, co-founder of Time Inc. She had been a Congresswoman and was on her way to becoming an Ambassador. It was small wonder that when 18-year-old Wilfrid Sheed met her he was awestruck. Her intimidating husband, the novelist-critic recalls, "summed me up with brutal accuracy as someone he didn't have much to learn from, certainly not enough to crank up his famous stammer for." But Clare Boothe Luce was something...

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