Books: An Image, an Idea

THE INNOCENT EMPRESS—Erna Barschak—Duffon ($3.50).

Women remember the late Eugenie Montijo as a certain Empress of France who wore a tilted wren's-nest hat which achieved a brief renascence in the '30s.

Refugee Erna Barschak presents her in this compassionate and entertaining "intimate study" as a rich sheaf of sorrows and symbols, a difficult but by no means unsympathetic human being.

"I should have lived," Eugenie wrote when she was 17, "a century earlier. The ideas that are dearest to me are now ridiculous. ... I have a mixture of dreadful passions in me. ... I fight against them, but I lose the struggle and...

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