because she feels that she is compassed about with a great cloud of witnesses, prophets, martyrs, confessors, all the company of the righteous. The time of the story is the present moment; into it Miss Lathbury brings this apparently incongruous, but really quite natural figure and thus produces an antidote for certain vicious stories published during the last few months, and puts to flight despondent views of future fiction. Sibyl Conquest is a figure not to be forgotten. Henry Holt & Co.

Mrs. Hugh Fraser introduces Mme. Yie Theodora Ozaki to American readers in a biographical study prefixed to her "Warriors of Old Japan." The story is romantic and accounts for the excellent English in which the tales are written, for it shows that the author is half English, was educated in English ways until she was sixteen years of age; and was secretary to Mrs. Fraser and amanuensis to her brother, the late Mr. Crawford. Now she is wife of the Mayor of Tokyo, a personage whose history is like a fairy tale, and their marriage was preceded by a little romance. The stories collected in her book might be described as historic tales, for they are faithful to Japanese sympathies and feeling although they introduce supernatural personages, and they truthfully reflect the national customs and habits. One finds Japan in them as one finds England in the stories of Friar Bacon, Grey of Warwick, or Tom Heckathrift. As they stand in this volume they are not inventions of the author but the growth of the Japanese mind, rendered into English by one who can correctly estimate their effect upon the mind of English-speaking and English-thinking persons. As this is the season when mere prettiness counts in the usefulness of a book, it is right to say that these tales

[ocr errors][merged small]

"The swirl and fury of London town find imperishable expression in Hogarth" says a recent critic of history and art, and it is these characteristics that are most emphatic in the half a hundred reproductions of his pictures to be found in Mr. H. B. Wheatley's "Hogarth's London." The London of that time might possibly seem slow to a man of to-day, armed with all the modern appliances for making haste swiftly, but if compelled to cope with it unaided by any weapons, he would probably find that its "swirl and fury” its iteration and speed, would severely test his power of maintaining his independence, and those who did not lose it were strong men indeed, as their looks and expression reveal both in portraits and in the other pictures. A physical characteristic visible with equal frequency is the fine carriage of the head, the detail which Hogarth, borrowing it from his own figure as he saw himself in the mirror, bestowed upon nearly all figures excepting only those having some marked peculiarity. To follow these two features through the entire collection is one of the unique pleasures to be gathered from this uncommonly large assemblage. Mr. Wheatley has been engaged upon this work at intervals for many years, and dedicates it to Mr. Austin Dobson, the chief authority on the whole subject of Hogarth and his work. The author speaks rather lightly of his book, but very few will be the American students of eighteenth cen

3 9015 03315 1062

ander, who could choose? Palmyra, adventures in Tibet, in the years Egypt, Carthage, the Lombards, the English are a few of the scattered sources whence they enriched the soil of the Campagna, and one is shown its gleanings in photographs of which every line holds a story. Coming to the Land of Cicero, with its reminiscences of great Cardinals and Popes and Saints, less touching than those left by the tender-hearted heathen who loved his daughter above all the world, the others diminish in importance, and one closes the book on the Pliny and Nero chapter in sheer despair. Each is best while one reads and all conspire to fill the mind with awe. Small wonder that the region has been deemed haunted! Imagine a hill 44,000 cubic feet in dimensions after centuries of unchecked robbery, and every cubic foot composed of scores of tiny terra-cotta objects, each one an offering to the gods, each one telling its story of woe or of gratitude! These are Commendatore Lanciani's fairy tales. His photographs second them well, and the volume is bound with substantial richness. Houghton Mifflin Company.

Dr. Sven Hedin is not only a brave and indefatigable explorer, for whom no heights and no solitudes have terrors, but he is a very clear and engaging narrator, who tells straight on what he has to tell, without frills of rhetoric, and enables his readers almost to see through his eyes the majestic marvels of Nature which came under his observation in Tibet. It is not too much to say that he has remade the map of Central Asia through his discoveries; he has traced rivers and mountain ranges before unexplored; and has filled in with definite lines whole patches which before were blank. The very poetry and romance of travel are embodied in his two-volume work, "Trans-Himalaya," in which he describes his discoveries and

1906 to 1908. He began this journey under difficulties which would have daunted a less courageous traveller, for the British government declined to permit him to pass from India into Tibet, and afterward the Chinese government attempted to obstruct him. He had no white companion, and only a handful of Asiatics; but he led them without hesitation through solitudes so intense that for eighty days not a human being was met, and back and forth across the great plateau, at a height of 16,000 to 18,000 feet, and through Arctic temperatures of forty degrees below zero. He discovered seven new passes across the Himalaya; traced to their sources for the first time the Indus and the Bramaputra; and demonstrated that the eastern and western mountain sections are connected and belong to the same system. Harassed though he was by the authorities, he established friendly relations with the Tibetans, and gives many interesting glimpses of them. Their manner of life, their rites and customs, are fully described and pictured. The by no means easy task of making a record of travel and discovery which shall be at once significant from the scientific point of view, and intelligible and delightful to the ordinary reader has been achieved by Dr. Hedin with signal success. He is his own artist also; and although he speaks with modesty of the photographs and drawings with which these volumes are illustrated, they are really spirited and varied. There are nearly four hundred of them, among them a number of water-color sketches of a quality which does not call for any apology. There are also ten maps. Altogether, whether with reference to its subject, or to the graphic skill with which it is written, this is decidedly the freshest and most important travelbook of the year 1909. The Macmillan Company.

[graphic][subsumed][subsumed][subsumed][subsumed][subsumed][subsumed][ocr errors][subsumed][subsumed][subsumed][subsumed][subsumed][subsumed][subsumed][subsumed][subsumed][subsumed][subsumed][subsumed][subsumed][ocr errors][subsumed][subsumed][subsumed][ocr errors][subsumed][subsumed][ocr errors][subsumed][ocr errors][subsumed][subsumed][subsumed][subsumed][subsumed][subsumed][subsumed][subsumed][subsumed][subsumed][subsumed][subsumed][ocr errors][subsumed][subsumed][subsumed][subsumed][ocr errors][subsumed][subsumed][ocr errors][subsumed][subsumed][subsumed][ocr errors][subsumed][subsumed][subsumed][subsumed][subsumed][subsumed][subsumed][subsumed][subsumed]
« VorigeDoorgaan »