Books: Old Hen, Great Snake

ELIZABETH AND ESSEX, A Tragic History—Lytton Strachey—Harcourt Brace

($3.75).

The Portrait Gallery. Elizabeth.

"Only a woman could have shuffled so shamelessly, only a woman could have abandoned with such unscrupulous completeness the last shreds not only of consistency, but of dignity, honor and common decency, in order to escape the appalling necessity of having, really and truly, to make up her mind. Yet it is true that . . . male courage, male energy . . . she also possessed. . . .

"She was mistress of six languages besides her own, a student of Greek,...

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