Books: Duke-of-the-Year Club

IPPOLITA (312 pp.)—Alberto Denti di Pirajno—Doubleday ($4.95).

Memo to publishers: sign up all Sicilian dukes of advanced years. They write good novels.

Last year's princely book was The Leopard, written largely in his 60th year by the late Giuseppe di Lampedusa, Duke of Palma. The current entry in the duke-of-the-year club is Ippolita, written by 75-year-old Alberto Denti di Pirajno, Duke of Pirajno. The resemblances between the two novels do not end there. They are both set in the 19th century amid the first revolutionary stirrings of Italian unification. To match The Leopard's feudally lavish autocratic hero, Don Fabrizio, there is the new...

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