Page images
[subsumed][merged small][graphic][merged small][merged small]

Total Reviews....


High Praise...... 3

Some Praise

Saying Nothing.

Condemn ..




75 60 54 54

40 31 89 31

15 20 9 8



proved his point. Certainly his table does not do it. His table shows that in

the four periodicals he has named from Critic

57 to 72 per cent. of the books reviewed Book Buyer

received “high praise." Is this fact a Nation

proof, or even internal evidence, that the He finds that

“high praise ” was not deserved ? Does “ All, with the exception of the Nation, lack

Mr. Dana believe that he knows these the courage of condemnation. And of the one

books did not deserve the “high praise" hundred and eighty-nine works examined by the when he does not know (or, at least, three first named, one hundred and fifty-four are

he does not tell us) even the titles of these found excellent, and only nine are actually dis

books ? Does he assume that he knows, approved of. “ This table tells the story of American literary

intuitively, that they did not deserve criticism ; it is 'a chorus of praise.' Neither can praise ? And his table can have no value it be said, in justification of this endless gush, that as a comparative survey of the four periliterary journals notice only the books that can be odicals' contents, because the different praised, those that have attracted attention and periodicals did not review the same books, are for sale everywhere."

or at least Mr. Dana does not tell us that One hears a great deal of loose talk, first the same books were noticed. Mr. Dana and last, about the irresponsibility and is trying to “make an average” among untrustworthiness of book reviewers at things which cannot be averaged any the present time, but it is not often that more than dollars and bushels can be any such definite explication is made. added together. We do not think that Mr. Dana has We believe it to be a fact that among

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


all the books published, a surprisingly large percentage deserves praise. Where

LYNDHURST: “Content or Non-Content!"

BROUGHAM : “Oh, Non-Content of course. there are so many books the number

[By permission of Messrs. F. Keppel & Co.) of books worth reading is bound to be great. And since the review space in this take to prove that. We will venture to periodical is limited, it is THE BOOK say that this periodical has not discovBUYER's general policy not to waste it on ered any new Thackerays or latter-day books which have nothing to recommend Byrons, though we are looking out for them. This applies, of course, only to them with an eagerness scarcely blunted the rank and file. A bad, pretentious

A bad, pretentious by hope deferred. But because the strongbook deserves condemnation, and it usually est wine still lies in the oldest casks, shall gets it, we think. But to break all the there be no cakes and ale while we wait ? butterflies which appear-even though Probably abuses exist in all industries, adverse criticism be "easier writing” than however honest and honorable; there may appreciative notice—this, as Cowper said be individual sins of commission in bookabout swearing, is “neither brave, polite reviewing, but Mr. Dana is not selecting nor wise.” At all events, THE BOOK individual cases—he is for “averages," and Buyer has neither time nor space to do broad, sweeping statements. General asit, nor any inclination.

sertions are usually faulty ; Mr. Dana's Neither, we hope, does The Book certainly seem to be. Every newspaper BUYER sin on the side of excessive praise. man, for instance, employed by a decent Even Mr. Dana's table does not under newspaper, knows what extraordinary ef

fort is made to print only accurate news. Stephen Crane's sketches of the “Great Yet any man in the street can tell you, Battles of the World,” which have been with an air, that "it can't be true if it is appearing from month to month in Lipin the newspapers.” We think Mr. Dana's pincott's Magazine are to be brought statements are unjustified; he has a right together in book form with eight illustrato his own opinion, but we are sorry his tions by John Sloane. As Crane's reputaopinion of others' judgment is so low. tion as a writer began with the success of

his “Red Badge of Courage,” a wonderThrough the courtesy of Mr. FitzRoy fully real though rather lurid picture of Carrington, we are able to reproduce two war, it seems quite probable that this new hitherto unpublished drawings by Leech, book which the Lippincotts are about to together with a portrait from an early pho- publish will find many readers. Another tograph. These two drawings, together book announced for early publication by with several more, are in a little leather- the same firm, and which will, undoubtcovered sketch-book which has lately come edly, be very popular, is an account of the into possession of Messrs. F. Keppel & Co. “ Famous American Belles of the NineThe portrait of Lord Brougham—“ Lord teenth Century,” from the pen of Virginia Non-Content"-is a striking figure, and the Tatnall Peacock. This volume will be other picture is in Leech's happiest brought out in the publisher's best style manner.

with twenty full-page illustrations beside

OSTLER: “ Please to take 'im gently over the wood-pavement, sir, for he's werry fresh this mornin'."

[By permission of Messrs. F. Keppel & Co.]

[graphic][merged small]

[From a photograph by Lambert.]

KENNETH GRAHAME a frontispiece in colors, and will include

[From a photograph by Hollyer.] mention of all the most famous belles of the different sections of our country dur

edition of “The Golden Age,” with Par

rish's pictures, which appeared last year. ing each decade of the century.

Among other forthcoming books with the

same imprint are two volumes of fiction, The noteworthy fiction announced by

Scruples,” by Thomas Cobb, and “Love the Appletons this autumn includes of Comrades,” by Frank Mathew-both Maarten Maartens's “ Some Women I

better known in England than here. For Have Known” and a new story by Ellen the new portraits of these writers we are Thorneycroft Fowler, entitled “Cupid's indebted to the courtesy of the publisher. Garden,” two volumes that invite the attention of critical readers and are sure of A new volume of C. D. Gibson's draw. a generous welcome from the general ing called “ Americans,” heads the list of public.

Mr. Robert Howard Russell's announce

ments of autumn publications. Over A new edition of Kenneth Grahame’s ninety pictures are included in the Gibson charming “ Dream Days," with a quantity book, and about the same number of of illustrations by Maxfield Parrish, re- drawings by A. B. Wenzell will be issued produced in photogravure, is announced in a similar volume, with the title, “ The by Mr. John Lane. The book will be in Passing Show.” Besides these and a lot some sense a companion volume to the of attractive picture books for children



[From a photograph by Giacomo Brogi.]

the colonization of the tropics by white and older readers-among them a book of races. In addition to the study of the child verses by Miss Helen Hay, il- political, historical and economic aspects lustrated in color by Mr. Frank Ver of his subject, Mr. Ireland made a thorBeck-Mr. Russell announces a fine edi- ough investigation of labor conditions in tion of “ L'Aiglon,” in which Miss Maude the tropics. While engaged in this part Adams is billed to play, this autumn; an of his work he accepted the position of edition of the “Knickerbocker History overseer on several sugar estates in the of New York,” handsomely printed and West Indies and in South America. The illustrated with eight large drawings by result of these investigations has been outMaxfield Parrish; a series of drawings by lined in two books, “Demerariana Essays, William Nicholson, called “Characters of Historical, Critical and Descriptive," Romance,” in which Mr. Nicholson has and “Tropical Colonization;” and in a outdone his own excellence; Pinero's number of addresses and magazine articles. “Gay Lord Quex," and a long list of at The work on which he is now engaged tractive books of minor importance. and which will appear in November, is

entitled “ China and the Powers; a Brief Mr. Alleyne Ireland, the author of "The History of Chinese Intercourse with the Anglo-Boer Conflict,” was born at Man United States, Great Britain, Russia, chester, England, and educated abroad. France, Germany and Japan.” Mr. Ire

He has lived for some time in this land's object in writing this book is to country and for the past thirteen years place within handy compass the leading has devoted himself to the study of facts of Chinese foreign relations, from

« PreviousContinue »