ps10.5;ld11The phrase "thin red line of heroes" -- meaning the red-coated British infantry -- crops up in much Victorian and Edwardian literature, perhaps most notably in Kipling's poem, "Tommy" ("It's Tommy this, an' Tommy that, an' 'Tommy, 'ow's yer soul?'/ But it's 'Thin red line of 'eroes' when the drums begin to roll." The original wording of the phrase is actually "that thin red streak topped with a line of steel" and referred to the stand of the 93rd Highlanders in the Crimean War. Who is the originator of the phrase?

All entries (one per person) must be clearly written on postcards and mailed to: Book Bag, The Washington Post, Washington, D.C. 20071, and must include complete return address and competition number. The winning entry will be the first correct answer drawn at random. Employees of The Washington Post Company and their families are not eligible to enter. Entries must be received no later than Nov. 8. The winner's name and city of residence will be announced in the Nov. 18 issue. A Washington Post Book World book bag will be sent to the winner.

Answer to Book Bag #596: It was the young Henry James who, visiting England, called on novelist George Eliot and described himself afterwards as being "literally in love with this great horse-faced blue-stocking."

Winner: Charlotte Becker, Williamsburg, Va.