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will be not unlike “Mrs. Dalloway", youth by a leaning toward bad poetry); and that one might as well begin at but that is beside the question. Grantonce to understand the changes. There ing him the title of "critic”, we remain is an interesting pamphlet available convinced that in the years to come, which sets forth the credo of Mrs. when Mr. Mencken is where it is no Woolf. It is called “Mr. Bennett and longer possible to be bumptious, it is Mrs. Brown” and is the spark which Miss Lowell who will be remembered set a fine controversy under way in for her critical contributions and Mr. London.

Mencken as a clever journalist known Not long ago we read in the “World” once as the Sage of Baltimore. Aside an article by Mr. Mencken on the from her contributions to American regional sources of material which has poetry and the encouragement which come to him in the course of his edi- extended to other and younger poets, torial duties. It was a stormy article, the death of Miss Lowell is a serious and one which looked very bright but loss. We have in America far too did not wash so well a thing that is many journalists and far too few true of many yards of the calico critics. printed in Baltimore. Barring the fact In writing this we wish to say that we that there is undoubtedly a vast do not come from New England. We amount of material which by virtue of are from the middle west, which the Mr. Mencken's own loudly announced Sage of Baltimore seems on the eve of tastes is not likely even to be sent him abandoning to oblivion in behalf of a for consideration, he was not quite fair south which stands girlishly on the nor very convincing. He had his usual threshold of a career rosy with a fling in the course of the article at the promise as brilliant as that of the barrenness of New England. What Chicago school. (God rest its soul!) leads us into this discussion is the Chicago has been betrayed by Mr. death, not many days afterward, of Mencken; it is, he tells us, no longer Amy Lowell, a product of this same the literary centre of America. The

barren ground”. Mr. Mencken, it centre is slipping rapidly in the direchas been said, is a critic. In this we tion of Atlanta, home of the Ku Klux disagree, believing him to be far more a Klan. politician (baffled perhaps in his first

LOUIS BROMFIELD

THE BOOKMAN'S GUIDE TO FICTION

THE BOOKMAN will present each month tabloid reviews of a selected list of recent fiction. This section will include also the books most in demand according to the current reports in " Books of the Month, compiled by the R. R. Bowker Company, the Baker and Taylor Company's Retail Bookseller", and THE BOOKMAN'S Monthly Score. Šuch books as the editor specially recommends are marked with a star.

66

BRING! BRING! — Conrad Aiken — Boni, THE LORING MYSTERY - Jeffery Farno Liveright. A collection of short stories in – Little, Brown. Graceful romance surwhich Mr. Aiken explores with a lantern rounds a very special brand of murder. murky caves of the subconscious.

*So BIG — Edna Ferber - Doubleday, PONTIFEX MAXIMUS — Mary Raymond Page. The Pulitzer Prize did not have far Shipman Andrews — Scribner. A lovely

to look for wholesomeness and excellent little fantasy of the Vatican.

workmanship this year. *THE GREEN HAT — Michael Arlen

*A PASSAGE TO INDIA — E. M. Forster Doran. Iris March is still the perfect if not the perfectly nice heroine.

Harcourt, Brace. Race conflict and passions in an excellently conceived novel of

the East. *MAY FAIR - Michael Arlen - Doran. These Charming People" in their best bibs and tuckers. Arlen's finest.

*THE WHITE MONKEY -- John Galsworthy – Scribner. The Forsyte family

in younger phases march on. FATHER ABRAHAM — Irving Bacheller Bobbs-Merrill. A Lincoln background and

*SOUNDINGS A. Hamilton Gibbs a human story well told.

Little, Brown. Masculine probings into the

ways of love in the twentieth century. THE DIVINE LADY · E. Barrington – Dodd, Mead. The story of a famous love never dies - here Lady Hamilton is in

THE RECKLESS LADY — Philip Gibbs

Doran. The reckless spirit of today piclighter company than often.

tured in a mother and daughter — not

quite equally reckless. THE WAY OF THE STARS — L. Adams Beck — Dodd, Mead. Egyptian mummies

*BARREN GROUND - Ellen Glasgow – and Hindu Yogis heap up marvels in a thrilling tale of Indian life.

Doubleday, Page. Exquisite prose and finesse in workmanship mark this story of a

woman's struggle in the new south. ANNA'S C. Nina Boyle Seltzer. Every individual in the book is harmed in

THE THUNDERING HERD - Zane Grey some way by this modern Circe.

Harper. The man's novelist recounts a

tale of the vanishing buffalo. MRS. MASON'S DAUGHTERS - Mathilde Eiker — Macmillan. They adjust them- THAT NICE YOUNG COUPLE — Francis selves variously to life through the medium Hackett — Boni, Liveright. A former litof a competent story.

erary editor creates literature of the ten

derer passions, marriage included. LOVE “Elizabeth” Doubleday, Page. "Elizabeth" is always delightful PAID IN FULL — Ian Hay – Houghton reading, but this account of the love of Mifflin. A lovable rascal wipes out all matron and youth doesn't quite ring true. memory of his sins and goes out in a blaze

of glory. JUNGLE-BORN — John Eyton -- Century. A boy, the apes who have raised him, a ETHAN QUEST – Harry Hervey – Costanner, a money lender, his daughter, and mopolitan. Exotic backgrounds for a young a tiger play thrilling hide and seek.

man's soul pilgrimage. (See page 587.)

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THE EDITOR RECOMMENDS

BOOKS THAT MAY HAVE

ESCAPED YOU 1. Norse Tales" by Hamilton Wright Mabie - simple retelling of the world's most virile legends.

2. The Little Karoo" by Pauline Smith :- as lovely as Maria Chapdelaine"; stories of Dutch Africa.

3. Criticismby W.C. Brownell a short essay by the stylist; illuminating and valuable.

4.The White Company" by A. Conan Doyle one of the best of historical romances.

5. Adrienne Toner" by Anne Douglas Sedgwick -- a better story even than The Little French Girl.

To return to Mrs. Wharton, Mr. Lovett was perhaps not a perfect choice as a critic of one whose social ideals he could not acclaim, yet he has written what seems to me one of the best critical brochures of the past few years. It is a far better performance than Carl Van Doren's “Cabell” in the same series. He gives not only a fine study of Mrs. Wharton's writing but a picture en route of the woman as well - not, perhaps, in terms of personality but in a rarely interpretative way. Mr. Lovett should write oftener in this vein. His book is excellent reading as well as a clear text for students of this most revered of our women novelists.

From the Nineties

TMeresplenie sentence of her abert

HE opening sentence of Robert
Morss Lovett's “Edith Wharton"

A Superb Analysis
(McBride) reads: “The decade of the
1890's in England has a definitely In

his second novel Cyril Hume has

written a far better book than his marked character.” Of the early years

“Wife of the Centaur”. Cruel Felof this period and those just preceding lowship” (Doran) was a difficult book it, you will find a vivid and stimulating

for anyone to write; particularly, , account in Osbert Burdett's “The

perhaps, for a young man. Yet he Beardsley Period” (Boni, Liveright).

has taken the story of Claude Fisher There is much good writing in this

and made it dramatic, moving, and book. Paragraph after paragraph de

profound. His detachment in drawmands quotation. I like this one:

ing an amazingly clear portrait is not Queen Victoria's triumph was unparal- the least part of it. He does not argue leled, for she ruled not only the waves but the Muses, and east and west had met at

for or against the character of Fisher. her footstool. Queen Elizabeth, and doubt- He simply shows him to us a naked less other sovereigns, had inspired allegory human soul, for better or for worse. and flattery, but she inspired solemn objurgation and religious hymns, not in

Claude Fisher's life is a series of dishonour of herself, of course, but in honour asters, vivid and startling contacts of the duty and responsibility of which she

with problems of life which must be was the symbol and trustee. These had traditional forms for the awe that they

faced even by those whose equipment must excite, but that the people's own heart is not adequate for the struggle. For should find spontaneous and dignified expression for them was immensely gratify

a change, we have an absolutely normal ing.

attitude brought to bear upon the

war

abnormal. Yet with what tenderness When enemies thus become more numerHume manages to survey human

ous than friends, and when even friendship

sometimes fails under the stress of competiweakness. He is never contemptuous tion, it is natural that city life should breed of his hero nor does he ever glorify the twin evils, Suspicion and Distrust. The his faults. It is not without reason

city-dweller views with suspicion some of

those he knows and most of those whom he that he has chosen the Fates as a does not know but merely reads about. symbol throughout his story. He has At great cost to himself, alas! sometimes tried to write with the impartiality of

at the cost of his spiritual life, he has forced

open the door of a house where he may live. fate and he has succeeded brilliantly. Those whom fortune has placed in a posiThe story is told through the eyes of a

tion to thrust him out again he views with

alarm. He makes friends only with those third person. To some this may seem who are social equals, and affects an an awkward method. To me it simply

unctuous camaraderie towards his superiors.

In those who are unlike him, who peremphasized the fine abstraction of the

chance profess a different religion or wear telling. The humanity of this book turbans instead of derbies, he has no conshould make it widely read. How

fidence. Them he suspects of insidious

rivalry, of coveting his markets; he disterribly true it is, only its readers can

trusts their professions of faith because he know. It proves to me that in Hume knows his own to be false. Then war, we have a novelist of distinction and

“the purifier and the pestilence", breaks

out. Even those in whose faces competirare artistry. At an early age, a tion has left hard lines quaver at the cost, novelist of mature power.

and to ease their distressed minds, give a holy purpose,

“descant on its vivifying virtues”, and with renewed vigour invoke the divine mercy while they trample

divine precepts under foot. In time the Spring Essays

war is 'won or lost. But suspicion still

remains. ITH the exception of "Skyline Promenades" (Knopf), there is

William McFee's "Swallowing the no reason for calling this group of books Anchor" (Doubleday, Page) has in it spring essays except that they were some of his very best essays. To be published in the spring. As to the sure, he seems at times to be a trifle “Promenades”, seldom has a book of didactic but, in the main, he is the essays seemed to me to have so much same kindly, wise, amusing, philosoreal charm and quality as these ac- phizing gentleman of the sea that he counts of mental and physical wander- always was. Is it natural that I ings among the mountains by J. should like best the essays he wrote for Brooks Atkinson. Perhaps that is this magazine? Perhaps my weakness because a real vacation means for me a is a human one. I do maintain, howwalking trip with some such compan- ever, that “A Letter in Reply to a ion as the author of these philosophiz- Young Gentleman of Yale University" ings. Someone to cut one's most is a masterpiece of wisdom and friendliremote moods, to bring one to earth ness. This is a book which I can with a bang, yet who can swing a pack recommend with complete heartiness. and appreciate a view. You will find Virginia Woolf is a stylist of note. much about literature as well as about Her novel, “Mrs. Dalloway", pubnature in this book, and much about lished recently, has received high and life, too. Mr. Atkinson is contempla- merited praise. Her essays in "The tive and kindly. He can be sharp, too. Common Reader" (Harcourt, Brace) I like what he has to say about city are even finer. She might well have dwellers:

dared call her book "The Uncommon

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