Books

Big Fat Book In 60 Seconds Flat

Hear ''New York Times'' editorial-page editor Gail Collins roar through history in America's Women: 400 Years of Dolls, Drudges, Helpmates, and Heroines (HarperCollins, $27.95). Don't be ''Ms.'' -led by the 537-page length; here are some highlights.

-- In the 1670s, Virginia governor William Berkeley reputedly bought gifts for his sexually demanding younger wife, Lady Frances, to make up for his inadequacies in bed.

-- Harriet Hubbard Ayer developed a face cream in 1886 that became so popular, her ex-husband and daughter tried to have her committed so they could take over the company.

Originally posted Oct 03, 2003 Published in issue #731 Oct 03, 2003 Order article reprints