Page images


ber of Deputies providing for a reform in the mands. A considerable quantity of sweet wine liquor trade. This provides for the suppression grapes will be made into dry wines; the balance of privileges enjoyed by private individuals to of the crop used will be made into raisins or distil brandy from their own fruits; for an in- used for the production of brandy which will be crease in the tax on alcohol from $2.40 to $5.00 aged in bonded warehouses. A normal produca gallon; and for a tax of $1.00 a gallon on ap- tion of California sweet wine would be 18,000,petizers and liqueurs. It further suggests that 000 gallons, which under the old laws would the government create a monopoly in the manu- have paid $125,000 in tax. It is doubtful if over facture of industrial alcohol.

3,000,000 gallons will be produced this year. In Germany the production and quality of For the fiscal year 1915 the tax collected on beer has been lowered by the demand for grain brandy used in fortification was as follows: by the army, so that sugar is extensively used as a grain substitute.

At 3 cents per proof gallon .............. $123,853 Sweden, since the beginning of the war, has At 55 cents per proof gallon.........

:::......... $138.383 been curtailing the sale of liquors. The so- Total gallons of fortified wines produced. .17,218,662. called "Stockholm System” has been extended un- -til it includes approximately one-third of the FERMENTED LIQUORS. The following table districts, and will after Jan. 1, 1916, apply to shows the production of fermented liquors, per the entire country. According to this system capita consumption, etc., in the United States each citizen is allowed only a fixed quantity of for the past two years: spirituous liquor. WINES. All reports from France seem to

Per capita No. of Retail agree that the champagne crop will be an ex- Year Bbls. beer gallons breweries dealers cellent one, the vines in some cases extending 1914 ...66,189,473 20.51

16,760 even to the German lines, and, according to the 1915 ...59,808,210

1,345 13,740 Temps's expert, the vintage of 1915 should be a second miracle of the Marne.

It will be seen that the production has dropped For the rest of France the reports are not as about one-tenth. good. In the southern and western parts the If statistics were available it would be intervineyards have suffered severely from mildew, esting to know the production of the so-called caused by the abnormally heavy rains and insuffi- near-beers, that is, fermented liquors containing cient cultivation, due to the scarcity of trained less than 42 per cent of alcohol. The spread of labor. In the Department of Gard the vin- prohibition has given a tremendous impetus to tage will probably be a total failure. The yield this class of liquors, but as no tax is required, will hardly exceed 330,000,000 gallons, or one- no records are available. half of an average yield. Prices for wines have In Germany it is calculated that the producdoubled. One cause for the increased price of tion of beer will be only about 60 per cent of wine, in addition to the failure of the 1915 vin- normal, owing to the lack of grain, and that tage, is that the government is making a gpecial about 20 per cent of this amount will be requisieffort to supply the men at the front with wines, tioned for the army. spirituous liquors not being allowed in the zone DISTILLED SPIRITS. The following amounts of occupied by the armies of France.

distilled spirits were produced and consumed in To add to the troubles of the wine growers, the United States in 1914 and 1915 : casks and laborers are very scarce. To aid the wine growers, prisoners of war are provided, on

Tax paid for Per capita request of the mayoralties of the different com- Year Production consumption consumption munities, to assist in the cultivation. The grow

proof gallons proof gallons proof gallons ers pay for the support of the men and give to 1914 ... 181,919,542 139,138,501

1.46 each prisoner four cents (American) a day for

1915 ...140,656,103 124,155,178 pocket money. The only saving grace in the situation is that the 1914 wines are developing There were bottled in bond in 1914 10,441,588 into a very promising product.

proof gallons of spirits, and in 1915, 9,748,978 In Algeria the crop will probably be short on gallons. account of mildew.

It is difficult to draw conclusions from these In Italy only one-half a crop is expected. figures, since there has been an over-production

From Germany the reports are favorable. In for some years, and the decrease in 1915 may be fact it is expected that throughout the Cologne due to an attempt to catch up and not to a real district the vintage will rival the famous ones decrease in consumption, although the bottled in of 1893 and 1911. Statistics for the 1914 vin- bond figures indicate that there was a less detage are: Area cultivated, 251,928 acres; pro- mand for this class of goods. duction, 24,335,327 gallons; total value, $9,924, It is interesting to note the figures on illicit 600; value per gallon, 41 cents.

distilling. In 1914, 2667 stills were seized; in In California conditions both natural and le- 1915, 3832. While making the raids on the capgal have hurt the wine industry. The vines have tured stills, four officers were killed. The Combeen more or less damaged by mildew. The missioner of Internal Revenue states that “The yield of dry wine should be about 75 per cent business of the 'moonshiner' in whiskey in the of that of normal times. As regards sweet Southern States appears to be increasing." wines, the production will be low,-- just what is It is stated that many large orders for alcohol ordered by the Association. This is due to the have been placed in this country by some of the heavy Federal tax of 55 cents a gallon on the warring nations, as it is a very necessary adbrandy used in fortification. As a heavy stock junct to the manufacture of the nitro-cellulose of fortified wines had been carried over from pre- explosives. It is estimated that every time a vious years, it will not be necessary to make 14-inch gun is fired a barrel of alcohol is conmuch of these wines to meet normal trade de sumed. In order to supply some of these orders a new distillery has been erected at Baltimore, may be mentioned at random books from the Md., which will be the largest in the world. pens of John Oman, John Holland Rose, and the

DENATURED ALCOHOL. The following table Earl of Cromer. shows the number of denaturing warehouses and The reader is referred to the articles DRAMA, their output for the past two years:


[blocks in formation]


FICTION. In both England and America in LITERATURE, ENGLISH AND AMERICAN. In 1915 fiction bulked largest in the output of every branch of literature the influence of the books, though, as against 1914, there was a War of the Nations was felt in 1915. The pre- decrease in quantity—a decrease not offset by occupation with the conflict was more evident any marked improvement in quality. The pubin France (see FRENCH LITERATURE) and in Ger- lic taste in novels, if not above criticism, was many (see GERMAN LITERATURE) than in Eng still not beneath it, and there is ground for satisland, where its literary influence was not as faction in recalling that novels as good as Hoppervasive as might have been expected. British kinson Smith's Felix O'Day, W. J. Locke's Jetscholarship and British letters—and the same is fery, and Winston Churchill's A Far Country measurably true of French productions in these were among the year's best-sellers, while a fields—have shown, during the war, remarkable strong partiality was shown for Arnold Benqualities of coolness and self-possession. In nett's These Twain, and H. G. Wells's The ReEngland books came from the press in 1915 search Magnificent. without startling signs of abatement, and the English. In English fiction it was the realistic same was true of America. The high tides of novelists who, in 1915, held, and deserved to hold emotion which swept over Europe from the be it said without prejudice to romance-the war have as yet, strange as it appears, found no close attention of the public. This year Arnold adequate expression in the poetry, the fiction, Bennett ended, with These Twain, the trilogy or the drama of any of the European nations, or that began with Clayhanger and continued with in America, unless the work of d'Annunzio be Hilda Lessways, and in so doing completed a masexcepted, and will perhaps remain to provide terly and searching study of middle-class life and an imposing epic theme for some titanic genius character among the ovens, chimneys, and smeltof the future. What is stranger still, the war ing furnaces of the towns of North Staffordshire. has failed to cast a gloom over the books of the H. G. Wells held his own as novelist and critic of year in either England or America-a phenom- society and morals in The Research Magnificent, enon to be explained, perhaps, as a reaction of a story of the quest of the noble life and the the imagination from the haunting terrors of means of spreading it in widest commonalty. the time, by a desire to find in the spell of art And his fertility was once more evinced by the an escape from tragic preoccupations, or by the appearance in the same twelve-month of a secfact that this year's books, like last year's, were ond and very different book, the farcical, whimin large part planned or written before England sical Bealby with its kaleidoscopic succession of felt the full effects of the struggle. The spirit- comic incidents. As a masterly poser, through ual depths have, however, been stirred by the the art of fiction, of present day English probwar, and men of religion and philosophy have lems, John Galsworthy made a characteristic pondered its bearing upon the faith and doctrine appearance with The Freelands, a study of the of Christendom or upon the foundations of their agricultural laborer and his relations to the philosophies.

landed gentry. And to 1915 belongs the same Only by qualities unrelated to their special author's series of satirical character sketches, purpose do war books come within the scope of The Little Man and Other Satires. The daugha survey primarily literary. Since the list of- ter of Alice and Wilfrid Meynell, Miss Alice fered in the 1914 YEAR BOOK, more than 600 Meynell, told in Columbine the story of a young books and pamphlets about the war have ap- man of letters who had his amatory difficulties peared in English, descriptive bibliographies of in choosing between a would-be actress and an which are conveniently accessible in four issues attractive and withal self-respecting stenogra(1915) of the New York Times Review of Books. pher. Realistic, but in a vein sufficiently difThese works cannot here be discussed. Certain ferent from the works above mentioned, is Eden of the best of them are cited in the article WAR Philpotts's Delabole in which the author turned OF THE NATIONS. Suffice it to remark in this from Dartmoor to write a moving story of the place that some of our most accomplished writers slate quarries of Cornwall. Quite as faithfully have had their say about the conflict in books of realistic, but concerned with life on the higher the year's publication, among them Arnold Ben- social levels, is Mrs. Humphry Ward's Eltham nett, H. G. Wells, Rudyard Kipling, Miss May House, where we hear of the disastrous effect of Sinclair, Mrs. Wharton, and Hilaire Belloc, a dubious divorce and matrimonial rearrangewhile historians and scholars have been prompt ments on the career of a titled and ambitious with occasional works, concerned in a more or young Englishman. W. Somerset Maugham's Of less philosophic spirit with the remote causes Human Bondage was a novel that found a corand broader aspects of the struggle, among which dial welcome. It was especially interested in the effect upon a young man's character of his cos- character observed from sea to sea and from the mopolitan education in English schools, in a Great Lakes to the Mexican border. Some half German university, as an art student in Paris, dozen of these must claim attention in any esand as a medical student in London. Anthony timate of the year's literature. Among them Hope, the quondam romancer, offered a trans- Winston Churchill has won repeated triumphs, cript of modern life everywhere in contact with and, on the score of earnest endeavor at least, contemporary reality in A Young Man's Year, a earns for each appearance a wreath of greenest record of a red-letter year in a gentlemanly laurels. This year he wrote, in The Far Country, young man's life. Like Arnold Bennett, J. D. a story concerned with those regions of AmerBeresford completed in 1915 the third volume ican politics or high finance into which our enterof an expansive realistic trilogy-The Invisible prising prodigals too often stray-a story that Event-concerned with the fortunes of Jacob brings the erring son to his right mind before the Stahl. And to this year belongs Archibald Mar- parable is ended. In earlier novels of his, this shall's The Old Order Changeth, which, in its author, if less impressive as a preacher, has been literal faithfulness to the life of the old gentry, more beguiling as story-teller. By the sympathe judicious have compared to the work of thetic realism, or naturalism, of such books as Trollope. E. F. Benson's laboriously realistic Jennie Garhart, Theodore Dreiser attracted a not Arundel is not likely to add to his fame, nor undiscriminating audience-an audience not Canon Hannay's Minnie's Bishop and Other likely to be as well pleased, however, with his Stories to his. Two compatriots of the Canon's, latest novel, The Genius, where we follow the the ladies who collaborate as E. A. O. Somer- career of an artist who drifts from his native ville and Martin Ross, leave him far behind, as Indiana town cityward to undergo varying forthey always have left him, as writers of racy tunes, artistic, amatory, and financial. Mr. Irish stories. For "divilment and divarshion," Dreiser's tendency to interpret life too exclufor wit, spontaneous fun, and sheer refreshment sively in terms of natural instinct here, as elsewe commend the reader to their stories, and not where in his work, impairs, perhaps, that comleast cordially to their latest, Mr. Knox's Coun- plete correspondence to the complex truth of try. Richard Price in David Penstephen made human motive upon which the realist chiefly a study of the irregular union of an "advanced" prides himself. Be that as it may, handsome couple who would not wed, and of the consequent acknowledgments are due this author for the penalties paid to society, even to the second light he has thrown upon certain aspects of sogeneration. Sir Gilbert Parker, in a story of cial life and certain types of character, which, French Canada, The Money Master, wrote in his thanks to that illumination, may be more clearly best vein one of the best-sellers of the year. seen and better understood. Realism and ro

The historical romance will not willingly die. mantic feeling blend in Frank Hopkinson Smith's This year men fit-and unfit-for adventure in Felix O'Day, which has the freshness and genial this literary field were not wanting In The Glo. warmth that characterize the work of this talrious Rascal, Justin Huntley McCarthy made ented and versatile man whose career but now Villon his hero, and idealized that engaging black ended abruptly, while he still seemed in the fullsheep in stagy and unconvincing fashion. John ness of his powers. It is a story of separation and Trevena is responsible for Matrimony and Moyle reconciliation, which includes engaging sketches Church Town---the first a picture of true love in of warm-hearted working people of New York's the Middle Ages, sacramentally sealed in mar East Side. Felix O'Day has been named as among riage; the second a tale of Cornwall in the eight- the best-sellers of 1915, and so also Booth Tarkeenth century. S. R. Crockett offered his Hal o'ington's The Turmoil. The scene of the latter book the Ironsides, an historical novel of Cromwell's is in the Middle West, and it has for hero a time; and A. E. W. Mason his Jacobean story young man who, in the world of commercialism, Lawrence Clavering. Baroness Orczy brought strives to keep his idealism and imagination vigorhistory into fiction in The Bronze Eagle, which ous and fresh. Partly Middle-Western in scene follows Napoleon from Elba to Waterloo, and is also Dorothy Canfield's The Bent Twig, where, also wrote a story of another type in A Bride of as in her other stories, a serious attempt is made the Plains, which involves charming pictures of at interpreting, as well as presenting, the AmerHungarian country life.

ican life the author has known, whether in the A strong infusion of romantic sentiment, inci- Middle West or in New England. In her herodent, or adventure is present in Joseph Conrad's ine, the "twig” of the story, whose upward bent Victory, a fine tale of the Eastern seas and is- towards things of good report effectively protects lands, worthy to stand beside The Nigger of the her from the alluring desires of the moment, Narcissus; in Maurice Hewlett's The Little Il- there is a something distinctively of her own iad, an old story in modern guise, complicated country. A sound piece of this year's realism by matrimonial difficulties and with room enough is Willa S. Cather's The Song of the Lark, with for the play of wit and satire; in Jeffery, one of a prima donna made in America--and well the year's best-sellers, and a work thoroughly made-for .a heroine. The public that has encharacteristic of its author, W. J. Locke; and in joyed the work of Robert Grant should find enH. Rider Haggard's Allan and the Holy Flower, tertainment in his new story of Boston life, where we gladly meet again our old friend Allan The High Priestess, the latest of the long series Quartermain, now plunged in desperate adven- of Judge Grant's novels, for the quality of which tures with crafty Kaffirs and Zulus fierce but his recent election to the American Academy of faithful.

Arts and Letters may stand sponsor. Among American. At present, in America as in Eng the pronounced successes of the year was Ernest land, it is the realists who best repay a reading. Poole's The Harbor, which throws a blended light They picture faithfully, and often fruitfully in- of poetry and realistic truth over New York terpret, in works that now and again reach a Bay, past and present. high standard of excellence, representative as- The embarrassment of choice among the host pects of American life, and types of national of remaining novels is extreme. In Around Old

[ocr errors][merged small][ocr errors][ocr errors][ocr errors][merged small]

Chester, Mrs. Deland, with her familiar literary year was Stewart Edward White's The Gray
grace, leads us among old and valued friends. Daun, set in the hurly-burly of the fifties of Cali-
In John Corbin's The Edge, a young New York fornia, when the vigilantes were active—the third
couple, bred in wealth and fashion, slide down part of the trilogy that began with Gold.
the social scale, victims of the fateful combina- A group of stories full of incident and adven-
tion of marriage, children, and an income quite ture or tinged with romantic feeling may be
beneath contempt. Under the light and pleasant mentioned in connection with the romances and
surface of William Farquhar Payson's Love Let- historical novels. The sensational effectiveness
ters of a Divorced Couple, and at the heart of a and vigor of Jack London were exemplified this
story of estrangement and reconciliation, is a year in The Star Rover, where they were brought
pith of moral common sense, which, while it be- to the support of prison reform, and combined,
guiles the reader, may edify him unawares. with other qualities, to fashion a series of short
Marion Harland, with many years and many stories which the idea of reincarnation binds into
and varied labors of the pen behind her, in Å a single sheaf. This year brought forth also
Long Lane, wrote vigorously of village life in the same author's The Scarlet Plague, where we
the New Jersey hills she knows so well. It is have a forecast of the world of the future lapsed
village life of which we read in David Grayson's into barbarism, which does not represent Mr.
Hempseed, steeped in sweet sentiment and opti- London at his best in theme or manner. Two
mistic sunshine, a tale exactly to the taste of stirring Western stories are Rex Beach's Heart
those whose artistic appetites were appeased by of Sunset, a best-seller for 1915, crammed with
The Old Homestead and Shore Acres. Bathed the thrilling adventures of a shilling-shocker,
in sunshine and sentiment, too, is George Barr and Zane Grey's Lone Star Ranger, also one of
McCutcheon's Mr. Bingle, a book ebullient with the year's best-sellers, and a lurid tale of the
the most benevolent amiability, and certainly Texas border in the seventies, with abounding ad-
worthy of a place of honor among the other pro- ventures among outlaws and rangers, punctuated
ductions of the same pen. From Gouverneur by the exhilarating crack of the revolver. From
Morris came The Seven Darlings, an ephemeral Richard Harding Davis's practiced hand came
tale of the smoothly running true loves of six Somewhere in France, in which that popular au-
heroines and as many heroes; from Robert W. thor applied his familiar method to fresh ma-
Chambers the not less ephemeral Athalie, a book terial, notably to an incident of the present war.
full of unreal people set down in the real city of Sinclair Lewis, who first appeared creditably
New York. Montague Glass, in the short stories with a novel last year, appeared again this year
of The Competitive Nephew, wrung good enter- with his Trail of the Hawk, which goes about its
tainment from the clothing trade and other varied business, East and West, with enlivening
phases of Jewish life in the metropolis. A book briskness, and displays qualities of vigor, in-
made to be swallowed whole by young people in vention, and clear-eyed observation that en-
their mating season was Mary Shipman An- courage the hope of better things from the same
drews's August First. A cluster of best-sellers, pen. What part of literature is now closed to
various in kind and quality, also invite atten- the activities of feminism? Certainly not the
tion here. There are Kathleen Norris's Julia hunting-ground of the detective, real or ficti-
Page, which tells how dear a woman pays for tious, witness Anna Katherine Green's The
one transgression; Henry Sydnor Harrison's Golden Slipper, and Bertha Runkle's Straight
Angela's Business, hardly likely to rival Queed Down the Crooked Lane, where two detectives of
or V. V.'s Eyes; Mary Roberts Rhinehart's K, the fair sex ply their trade with eminent success.
with its buoyant and happy heroine; Gene Strat- POETRY. English. An increasing demand for
ton Porter's Michael O'Halloran, with its ap- poetical work in various kinds marks this year
pallingly voluble super-newsboys, its unreal lay as it marked last year, and the world would ap-
figures, and its gushes of optimistic sentimen- pear willing, and waiting, to listen once more
tality; Mrs. Eleanor Hodgman Porter's Polly- to the poet as to the voice of modern life. High
anna Grows Up, where the heroine makes glad among the lyrics of the year are those of the
the heart of poor Jamie of Murphy's Alley, Bos- Irish poet, W. E. Russell—"Æ”-whose Col-
ton, and gladdens, too, the heart of the wealthy, lected Poems are rare and subtle verses that cap-
yet lonely widow of Commonwealth Avenue of ture mystic moods in nets of lovely word and
the same city; and Harry Leon Wilson's Rug- phrase to a music all their own. Katharine
gles of Red" Gap, a farcical novel setting off Îynan Hinkson, also an Irish poet, in The Flower
genteel English social conventions against a of Peace, a volume of devotional verse, has the
background of crude, democratic American sim- simplicity, freshness, and fine skill in words and

music which commended her earlier volumes of America provided in 1915 its quota of ro- poetry. Those who from the prose fantasies of mance, historical and other. In Jeffrey Farnol's James Stephen, another Irish singer, have drawn Beltane the Smith, a story effusively welcomed a favorable opinion of their author, will only in all but rigorously critical quarters, the air is imperil that opinion by making the acquaintance thick with the aroma of mediæval chivalry- of the slender volume of lean lyrics entitled The knights and ladies in bower and hall, knights Rocky Road to Dublin, which, remembering Blake panoplied for errant adventure, and a hero right and Stevenson, and aiming at childlike naïveté, ing wrongs and winning a duchess for his pains. achieve chiefly childishness and fatuity. Full of By valor and strength of thew, the hero of an- promise were The Collected Poems of Rupert other mediæval romance, Miss Mary Johnson's Brooke, true poetry, sound and vigorous, and The Fortunes of Garin, also wins a lady of high often of a finished art. The author of them degree. Randall Parish, in Beyond the Frontier, died untimely in the war. In Laurence Binyon's chose frontier life in the days of La Salle for The Winnowing Fan, we have a collection of warhis theme. Mrs. Frances Hodgson Burnett, in time verses of manly and generous fibre; and in The Lost Prince, dealt romantically with a Ser- Alfred Noyes's The Lord of Misrule, all the bian legend. Among the historical novels of the poems, including war lyrics, that Mr. Noyes has

[graphic][graphic][merged small][merged small]

Pirie MacDonald, N. Y.

F. HOPKINSON SMITH (George A. Birmingham)

Died April 7, 1915 FOUR AUTHORS PROMINENT IN 1915

« PreviousContinue »