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their answers were quaint and explicit. Take the Arab who replied amiably, when sounded on the vicissitudes of bigamy, "Oh dey bery good, I give dem much stick." It is an alluring Egypt. Unfortunately, Dr. Manning's explorations occurred in the last century. He records that in Cairo an American remarked to him, with firmness: "Cairo is a big place. It will stand a lot of improving." fear that it has been improved since Dr. Manning's inspection. As an authoritative guide his book is not to be recommended. It is for reading only.
Charles-Augustin Sainte-Beuve once classed himself among the souls that espouse the illustrious and become the servants of their glory. He began his literary career as a poet and he achieved fame as a critic; he ardently took part in the romantic movement when it began but his renown rested on his taste for the classics; in his youth he was a conspirator and he died a pensioner of the Empire. His truly His truly memorable works, the "Causeries de Lundi", were written under such conditions that only the quality of the performance makes the term "hackwork" inapplicable. With such a subject, it is hardly to be expected that Lewis Freeman Mott's "Sainte-Beuve" (Appleton) would read like a Strachey biography. Anatole France in an essay in "The Latin Genius" did indicate that the career of Sainte-Beuve offered material for such a biography. Certainly his friends, including Victor Hugo, Châteaubriand, Madame Récamier, Gautier, George Sand, and Renan would have offered a wonderful background for a Life that that was intended to be a pointed up picture of the middle half of the nineteenth century in France. Mr. Mott has more soberly decided on an authorita
tive work, worthy of being the first complete biography of its subject.
A cathedral to be appreciated must be seen. All that one can enjoy in a written description of it is the quality of the writing or the personality of the writer. Both of these, unfortunately, are missing from "The World of Today" (Putnam), which, in four volumes, edited by Sir Harry Johnston and Dr. L. Haden Guest, describes "all countries and peoples of the world, its beauty spots and wonder places". It is not much more interesting to read than a guidebook; but it is indeed "sumptuously illustrated" and for this reason well worth having.
"With the advent of the new architecture", writes Alan Stapleton, "we have begun to build for a race of giants, and the old familiar London of courts and alleys and winding lanes is passing." Carefully then Mr. Stapleton has preserved the flavor of this old London in "London Alleys, Byways and Courts" (Dodd, Mead). Sixty odd pencil sketches with accompanying anecdotes comprise a delightful history of "courts and alleys of old London some of these - places where men lived before the dawn of our ultracivilization; places where men still live". Mr. Stapleton is an excellent raconteur. He is neither pedantic nor pedagogical. pedagogical. He chats leisurely and intimately of Moll Cutpurse and Bet Flint, Ben Jonson and John Bunyan, Fetter Lane and Wardrobe Court, Paternoster Row and Chaucer's Tabard Inn. The sketches are excellent. Many of them are made in vignette, and Mr. Stapleton has combined a soft technique with the proper accent to give his work strength. His composition is good and there is a pleasing play of light and shade. The
book will endear London to Londoners, and strangers will heed the persistent call of the bowbells.
"Collected Poems" by Robert Underwood Johnson (Yale) represent forty years of labor by one who has endeavored consistently to follow the best traditions of English poetry, and has been measurably successful in producing work of finish and beauty. There is no outstanding originality about Mr. Johnson's poems, there is no world ranging imagination or deep sounding, compelling blast of emotion; the author has reached no untrodden height and raised no call unheard before; and yet within the domain of simple music and unpretentious subject matter he has been not ineffective, and in handling the conventional themes of springtime and love, of aspiration, patriotism and war, he is neither more distinguished nor less distinguished than a majority of the traditionally minded poets of the time.
Captain Vancouver, after his first view of Puget Sound, wrote that "to describe the beauties of this region will... be a very grateful task to the pen of a skilful panegyrist". The late William Watson Woollen, of Indianapolis, has performed much of that "grateful task" and has greatly extended it in the two large, handsomely printed volumes entitled "The Inside Passage to Alaska" (Arthur H. Clark), the subtitle to which more accurately describes it as an "account of the North Pacific Coast from Cape Mendocino to Cook Inlet, from the accounts left by Vancouver and other early explorers and from the author's journals of exploration and travel in that region". Mr. Woollen was a distinguished lawyer who was also a born naturalist, not of the laboratory but of the school
of Muir. His interest in the northwest coast came late in life, beginning with a trip taken in 1912, but he devoted the remaining years until his death in 1921 to further travel and research in this region. The resultant material, as edited in these volumes by Paul L. Haworth, is best described as an "account": a composite of description and history, given unity by the fact that he follows, more or less, in the wake of Vancouver, digressing liberally however whenever he likes, as in the interesting chapters on the "trees and shrubs of the coast", on whales and the whale fisheries, and on the Indian natives. The book is well indexed: a valuable compendium of information and also a fluent narrative of travel among the myriad islands and waters of the region.
The Italian historian, Guglielmo Ferrero, in "The Women of the Cæsars" (Putnam) has written a work whose design is to bring into the foreground those feminine figures which in his own "Greatness and Decline of Rome" occupy a place of necessarily secondary importance. His intention has been to rescue such remnants of their realities as survive beneath the accumulated legends, misrepresentations, and slanders with which earlier historians have obscured them, and to present the facts in as truthful an aspect as the conclusions of his studies and researches warrant. The period he covers is that which begins with the marriage of Livia to the Emperor Augustus and ends with the death of Agrippina, mother of Nero, the last member of the line to reign.
After Alice Meynell's celebrated sonnet "Renouncement" had been praised by the great Victorians the poet held, until her death in 1922, a
unique place in English letters. The prophecy of her permanent place in literature may be guessed through the scholarly and humane study "Mrs. Meynell and Her Literary Generation" by Anne Kimball Tuell (Dutton). Miss Tuell reveals Mrs. Meynell against her distinguished backgrounds, identifies a quantity of her unsigned essays, and analyzes her rare poetic gift. The study is phrased with as scrupulous sense for the word as had Mrs. Meynell herself and shows, in the discovery of the paradox as the secret of Mrs. Meynell's swiftness of intellect and veritable mysticism, that Miss Tuell, too, possesses a "refined and immediate vision". An excellent introduction to Mrs. Meynell and her fin de siècle, Roman Catholic group, the book is perhaps rather intended for those who have previously enjoyed the poet. To them it is invaluable.
In his account of life in Russia during the war and the revolutions, "The Speckled Domes" (Scribner), Gerard Shelley at least attains the distinction of giving us a view of Rasputin quite unlike that usually presented. "At times", Mr. Shelley tells us, "Rasputin struck me as being very much like an Old Testament prophet. I think the secret of his power lay in the sense of calm, gentle strength and shining warmth of conviction." He does not believe any of the "wretched stories" of debauchery and evil doings told of Rasputin, all of which he considers calumnies of a sort characteristically Russian. For Mr. Shelley is sweeping in his condemnation both of the old aristocracy and of the intelligentsia - whom he stigmatizes as futile folk. Indeed, futility is the one label that nearly all observers, including the Russians themselves, agree upon as appropriate to the past ten years or more of Rus
sian life. ses of it from many angles. He was in Russia at the outbreak of the war and he went through both revolutions, landing finally in a Bolshevik prison, and escaping at last disguised as a woman. He had the entrée to aristocratic society, and even to the Empress, of whom he thinks highly. Other chroniclers have supplied us with a sufficiency of the horrors of the red revolution: this book is of value chiefly as an appraisal of the degeneracy and morbidity of the "educated" Russian. Doubtless something might be said on the other side, but Mr. Shelley's picture is impressive. He is fluent and skilful in making a highly readable narrative.
Mr. Shelley gives glimp
Major General Sir Frederick Maurice's study of "Robert E. Lee, the Soldier" Soldier" (Houghton Mifflin) is a valuable contribution to the vast body of authoritative works devoted to the military career of the great Virginian. But the present volume is, happily, more than an unbiased valuation of Lee's campaigns and battles, for it contains as well a singularly eloquent conception of Lee, the man. In estimating Lee's martial genius, General Maurice justly finds a place for him among the supreme commanders of history, and at the same time succeeds in realizing for us the likeness of one whose achievement as a human being was even loftier.
Mr. Pepys appears to have a rival. The first volume of "The Farington Diary" (Doran) gave promise of this some time ago, and the three succeeding volumes have admirably fulfilled this promise. Volume IV brings this inimitable narrative up to the beginning of 1808. It takes us back to the quiet, graceful, pleasure loving days of Merrie England, when George IV was Prince
of Wales, when Wordsworth wandered among the daffodils at Grassmere, when the famed Catalani drew her worshipers to Covent Garden, when Sir Joshua Reynolds was daubing great canvases with unforgetable oils, when Bonaparte's manoeuvres on the Continent were but as summer thunder heard at a distance. Time slips away
as we dine and chat and pursue the daily round of living with Farington, and the veil seems gossamer which would obscure from us these heroic figures of yesterday. Happy he who kept a diary, for he has served future generations no less than the artist or statesman! We owe a debt of gratitude also to James Greig who has, with intelligence and care, prepared the volume for publication.
The only connecting link between the papers which make up the delectable volume of essays by Jules J. Jusserand entitled "The School for Ambassadors" (Putnam) is "the pen which wrote them", yet the title is apt. As the author notes, the authorities maintain that the perfect ambassador should be as nearly omniscient as may be possible for humanity, and should be adept in many arts. Few diplomats of our day have come so close to attaining that ideal perfection as M. Jusserand: in scholarship and in human adaptability as well as in the narrower functions of his political office. Some of these essays, he explains, were "addresses which it took an hour to deliver and months to prepare: others were prompted by stays in particularly lovable spots like the Euganean Hills or Ronsard's Vendomois". The title paper is a revision of his presidential address before the American Historical Association, in 1921: a survey of the history of diplomacy since the thirteenth century.
In Henry Holt and Company's series, "Writers of the Day", another volume has appeared-"H. G. Wells", by Ivor Brown. The writer of this biographical summary of Mr. Wells's work has entered gracefully into the spirit of contemporary biographical style, which appears to be standing serenely, if somewhat contemptuously, apart from the more ragged prose of novels. While nothing like a comprehensive work is undertaken, the book is an easy and sufficient biography of what was and is really H. G. Wellsthe writer's mind and his esprit. Wisely and concisely Mr. Brown has divided the interests that dominated the developing Wells, showing how those various interests influenced and were his writings; and carefully he has brought out the largeness of the details in the life of the English writer. Followers of Wells will be delighted to have their mentor so pleasingly explained; and others will find much information that is in itself good literature.
Musician's lives, as usually described, are as interesting and exciting as romances; they have in addition the glamor which attracts servant girls to stories of duchesses. Nathan Haskell Dole's "Famous Composers" (Crowell) should therefore be successful in arousing popular interest in music, for its purpose is avowedly to present life stories with the interest of fiction. What he gives, then, is chiefly narrative, with a sprinkling of anecdote and an occasional critical obiter dictum of no great originality or importance. This treatment, on the whole quite successful, may account for and justify the rather unsatisfactory choice of composers: they need not be first rate, they must be personages whose lives will furnish good copy.
THE BOOKMAN'S MONTHLY SCORE
Compiled by Frank Parker Stockbridge, Life Member of the American Library Association, in Cooperation with the Public Libraries of America
Even in a belated (meterologically speaking) season like the present, "spring" fiction comes into its own. In two months half the titles in the monthly score have disappeared and half a dozen new ones taken their places. Just why publishers bunch their hits, as it were, by making seasonal offerings of their wares, is a mystery of the trade. Do they issue their spring fiction because of a definite demand for something new to read as well as to wear in the spring; or is spring fiction itself a fiction, like spring lamb or spring chicken? Would not the public buy and read just as many copies of a given book if it were offered at any other time of the year? One wonders and leaves the question open.
As forecast last month, Arrowsmith" has climbed; it has precisely changed places in the May Score with "The Thundering Herd". But here's a little peep behind the scenes. "The Little French Girl" is numerically further ahead of "Arrowsmith" and all the rest of the list than the most popular book ever recorded in this Score has ever been ahead of the field. Which is unimportant but interesting. -F. P. S.