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CURRENT LITERATURE

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the lesser conflict of 1812. In each case TWO WAR-TIME WOOINGS the tone and color of such a period are

caught with exactness that is VEN Victor Hugo made an artistic thoroughly convincing. Some of the

failure of his attempt to give the other chapters of In Circling Camps are, battle of Waterloo something more than properly enough, such as might form part what may be called a geographical posi- of any story dealing with war and love, tion in the life story of a petty thief who those immutable phases of human activity became an estimable manufacturer of concerning which men have been writing cheap jewelry, and therefore it would have and reading without appreciable diminubeen remarkable indeed if Mr. Joseph A. tion of interest ever since they have Altsheler had succeeded in making Shiloh written and read at all. and Gettysburg manageable incidents in Mr. Altsheler has gone to the border his tale of how a young Kentucky Un- line between North and South for his ionist wooed and won the beautiful niece hero, who is, therefore, subjected to conof an unbeautiful army contractor. He flicting influences that not only make difsucceeded in so many other things, how- ficult his choice between the Union and ever, that it is unnecessary to dwell upon the Confederate flags, but render natural this point, and one can hasten at once to his sympathetic admiration for the courthe pleasanter task of declaring that In age, and even for the mistakes, of those Circling Camps is a more than worthy against whom he finally takes arms. This, product of the historical knowledge and whether purposely or not, assures for the literary ability that gave both interest and book as many and as contented readers in value to “A Herald of the West,” “A the South as in the North. And by what Soldier of Manhattan,” and “The Sun of

may seem to some to be excessive caution, Saratoga.”

though it is probably no such thing, the Especially noticeable in all of Mr. Alt- author has chosen for his villain a man sheler's books is the skill with which he who, while fighting on the Southern side, can convey a realizing sense of the vague is a person of mysterious origin and amdisquietude, the alarm at once sincere and bitions, both apparently foreign. skeptical, that hangs over and oppresses The historical element of this book, like the residents of a national capital in the its scenic setting, is evidently of scrupuweeks preceding the outbreak of a great lous accuracy, and the early morning surwar. Description and illustration of prise at Shiloh and the culminating charge Washington's feelings on the eve of the of the Virginians at Gettysburg, though, Rebellion serve as introduction for his as already hinted, somewhat “out of the last book, just as did a similar treatment picture," are unusually graphic specimens of the same city prepare the way in “A of descriptive writing, full of well susHerald of the West,” for recounting the tained excitement, and intensely realistic adventures of another young soldier in without passing the line that separates the annals of his own country as the source of cerning social conditions on the border, his inspiration for teaching through fic- and in its character studies of the black tion the lessons of patriotism, courage and and white population. Many of the perhonor.

terrible from the horrible. In Circling A Romance of the Civil War. By Joseph A. Altsheler. D. Appleton & Co., 12mo, $1.50. Camps will add to its author's already

THE JAY-HAWKERS. A story of Free Soil and Border enviable reputation, and give new justifiRuffian Days. By Adela E. Orpen. D. Appleton & Co., 12mo, $1.00.

cation to his preference for the stirring

IN CIRCLING CAMPS.

sonages are evidently sketched direct from As readers of The Book BUYER know nature, and the conditions that created from the letters it published last month, and specialized them are minutely indiMrs. Adela E. Orpen had the scenes and cated. The virtues and vices of the neexperiences of her own childhood to serve groes, who formed the helpless and groas foundation of a novel dealing with that tesquely uncomprehending centre of the preparatory struggle, now little more than struggle, are depicted with especial skill. a legend for most of us, that went on for The only historic figure introduced is the years before the Civil War in the debat- sanguinary brigand, Quantrell, and he able region where Missouri and slavery could have well been spared, even if the confronted Kansas and abolition. The burning of the town of Lawrence had to life of that time and place, with its ever go with him. With him and it would recurring battles, petty but significant, have gone his unbelievably ineffective Mrs. Orpen has set forth in The Jay- method of punishing the heroine's rejecHawkers, which her sub-title describes as tion of his hand, and the book would “A Story of Free Soil and Border Ruffian have been the better for the lack. Days.” From its pages one gets, almost

F. C. Mortimer. for the first time, and, perhaps, more clearly than ever before, a view of this fierce and protracted war, conducted with

SOME SCHOLARLY VIEWS OF little of definite purpose and by combat

LITERATURE ants who acted from motives singularly diverse. Some of the raids back and forth TN a story of life in the navy Mrs. Anna

IN across the boundary could be with diffi- Rogers makes one of her characters culty distinguished from merest theft ac- state the case of the officers' wives in some companied with ruthless murder, and yet such words as these: “You can tag along underlying them all were the defense of, and know a lot, or you can stay at home and attack upon, human bondage, the

and believe a lot.” A similar choice, one “peculiar institution” that later came so is sometimes tempted to think, lies before near involving the whole nation in its own the possible reader of the heaped-up books fall.

of literary criticism, of interpretations, Mrs. Orpen reveals the sort of people appreciations and scientific analyses of that suffered from these border forays, style. You may study with the bookmen and also the sort that found incidental and “know a lot,” or you may simply profit in them. Her hero, a New Eng- read and “ believe a lot,” letting the book lander enlisted on the Free Soil side from

LITERARY INTERPRETATION OF LIFE. By W. H. Crawan academic hatred of slavery which in

shaw. The Macmillan Company, 12mo, $1.00. spired no personal liking for the indivi

EVOLUTION OF THE ENGLISH NOVEL. By Francis Hovey dual negro, kills the father of the hero- Stoddard. The Macmillan Company, 12mo, $1.50. ine, and from this the plot and progress THE ROMANTIC TRIUMPH. By T. S. Omond. Charles of the inevitable love story can be in

Scribner's Sons, 8vo, $1.50 net. ferred. But the love story is not the im

NOTES ON THE Bacon-SHAKESPEARE QUESTION.

Charles Allen. Houghton, Mifflin & Co., $1.50. portant part of the book. Its value lies

THE FORM OF PROSE LITERATURE. By J. H. Gardiner. in the first-hand information it gives con

a

By

Charles Scribner's Sons, 12mo, $1.50 net.

take hold of you, forgetting whether its door of the lecture-room, allured by visions author owes his style to this predecessor, of an earlier, less self-conscious life, it is and his plot to that; forgetting that there a part of it also to acknowledge, when the is an author, perhaps, but bending over lectures are good, that one would have your book, child-like, as the light grows lost by “cutting” them. dim-following, following whither the Perhaps Mr. Crawshaw, in his Literstory leads, a captive and a worshipper. ary Interpretation of Life, noticed that

It is a question between the scholarly some of his hearers dallied a little before and the purely esthetic view of litera- seating themselves to listen to him, for, in ture, combined with a question between his initial chapter, “The Book and the the enjoyments of youth and those of Man," he discusses the two methods of maturity. To read with the single-hearted reading-first, the consideration of each interest of childhood is primitive, yet book as an

book as an “isolated phenomenon,” to be it is surely an ideal way; to enter a enjoyed in and for itself alone; and, secbook naïvely, and to accept its state- ond, its consideration as a part of life, not ments with something of the unreason- only for itself, but in its relation to its ing credulity which colors a child's view author and the times and conditions in of nature, is to get one's pleasure with which he lived. “As a matter of fact," the dew still glimmering over it; and, he concludes,“ both kinds of study are to speak a word for the authors, it is necessary. To ignore the indissoluble rethe way in which the writer of a book lation of literature to human life, is to will feel most touched to know that it has limit our intellectual horizon and to miss been read. In contrast, the scientific some of the grandest prospects which litcritic, with his microscope and his tele- erature has to afford. To ignore the litscope, seems at best a cold-blooded judge. erary work as a separate art creation is to But the child's attitude will not last. We forfeit that æsthetic pleasure and profit cannot

go

about the world as the ancients which is the sweetest fruit of art.” did, environed by the unexplained; and, It is “the indissoluble relation of litersooner or later, our naïveté as readers must ature to human life” of which the book be laid aside among our outgrown mental treats, following by chapters from “ The garments, not without regret and with Book and the Man” to “ Literature as an great tenderness, like some half-pathetic Outgrowth of Life,” “ Literature as a Revsouvenir.

elation of Life," “ Literature and PersonTo those who have laid it aside, or are ality," and so on though the various relaupon the point of doing so; to those who tions of written thought to the age, to the are ready or obliged to look beyond the race, to the nation, and to humanity-the delights of reading as an enchantment, last chapter completing a circle and overand must seek the pleasures of a deepen- lapping the first with its recapitulation. ing insight, the five volumes of literary Being a small book with a large subject, history, philosophy and discussion, which it gives many suggestions for a more comare here grouped together for comment, prehensive study than its space permits, make their appeal. Three of them are by and indeed outlines a complete overhaulteachers of literature in different Ameri- ing and analysis of literature in every can colleges, and all of them are suffi- conceivable relation to life, opening fasciently instructive to recall their readers cinating vistas to the student. The mind to the student's attitude; if it is a part of of the reader expands with interests, and that attitude to hang back a little at the then shrinks a little on realizing something of the vague abstruseness of the mention and brief estimate of every

writer problems which would develop out of so of note in England and Europe at the broad a research.

time with which it deals, and of many who Having a less inclusive subject, The are now little known. An index and deEvolution of the English Novel is more tailed chapter summaries make the condetailed. After stating the impossibility tents practicable for reference, while as of tracing an exact evolution of the novel history it shows how the romantic triumph from any other form of literature, or even was characterized in different countries of working out a chronological sequence by “the same new-born love of antiquity, in the development of its different forms, coupled with fervid zeal in attacking the book is divided into sections treating present problems; the same impatience of the novel of personality, the novel of of all that was formal, and measured, and history, the novel of romance, the novel of restrained ; the same awakening of a sense purpose, and the novel of problem, and of largeness, remoteness and mystery, as through it all is traced the underlying law the intellectual horizon widened around; of literary tendency, that “the depiction a passionate sympathy with Nature, and of the external, objective, carnal, precedes, an eager grasping after some higher life in every form of literary expression of than hers." And it shows, too, how in which we can have record, the consider- this era “ forms consecrated by the preation of the internal, the subjective, the scription of centuries were ruthlessly cast spiritual.” The writer says, “I shall en- aside. The new spirit either invented new deavor to apply this theory to the novel forms or revived old ones, novel from long with intent to suggest that such develop- disuse. . . . Independence, originality, ment of expression as we find in form of brilliance and effectiveness at whatever novels advances from the depiction of far- cost were the things really sought and off occurrences and adventures to the nar- prized.” And it ends by saying, “ More ration and representation of contempora- than aught else, perhaps, the Romantic neous, immediate, domestic occurrences; Movement stood for humanity in its widand, finally, to the presentation of con- est sense, made man as man the theme of flicts of the mind and soul beneath the central interest. Our antiquarian zeal, external manifestations. If the theory is our philosophy and economy, our social true we may expect to find at the begin- experiments all date back to this. It is ning of novel expression a wild romance, the dominating feature of modern thought and at its end an introspective study into and inquiry." motive.” On such lines the much-ques- A contribution which seems conclusive tioned novels of purpose and problem find enough to put an end to an old controva closely studied vindication, while the end ersy comes in Notes on the Bacon-Shakeof the book points out the mission of the speare Question, by Charles Allen. Every modern novel as the real critic of life. possible aspect of the question seems to

More historical and encyclopædic than have been considered in this book, and it the preceding books, The Romantic Tri- is notable for the good-humored patience umph, by T. S. Omond, records the work- with which it meets the many arguments ing out of “that great literary upheaval which many people have put forward in which followed the political revolution of support of that strange theory which 1788," and brings Professor Saintsbury's Delia Bacon first conceived, and to which “ Periods of European Literature” down she sacrificed her mind and her life. The to the year 1850. In it may be found author gives full credit to all evidence for

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Bacon as author of the plays and poems, to theatrical matters, and the habits and yet his book makes the theory seem more technical language of actors, which formed absurd and groundless than ever, and adds the daily life and speech of Shakespeare, to the wonder that it has lived to need so while Bacon must have been less convermany refutations. The ground covered sant if not entirely unacquainted with by some of the most important chapters them. All of these circumstances tend in is summed up as follows:

a greater or less degree to negative the “ It appears that the author of the theory of Bacon's authorship; and the plays took little thought for their preser

combined or cumulative force of so many vation, while Bacon took the greatest detailed facts, all pointing in the same pains to preserve his acknowledged writ- direction, is certainly a consideration of ings, even when their publication must great weight.” be postponed; that he was familiar with The extract shows the reasonable tone English poetry, song and plays, both of the book, as well as giving some idea of published and unpublished, some of the the kind of arguments brought forward. latter having no existence, probably, out- The last book in this group, The Forms side of the theatres, while there is noth- of Prose Literature, is intended for stuing to show that Bacon had any know- dents of English composition, and that it ledge or taste for such writings, or that chances to be good reading for anyone inhe could have had access to the unpub- terested in the processes by which the lished plays, and, in fact, it seems prob- books he enjoys have been produced is able that he despised them all; that simply because it is so well written, from Shakespeare was known and recognized such clear sensible thought. It is refrom poems of conspicuous merit and un- markable for the compact compass into doubted authenticity, while Bacon pro- which it brings essentially all the practiduced no poem worthy of notice, and cally helpful ideas about writing, ideas with a single exception was never spoken such as the unaided writer works out very of by his contemporaries as a writer of slowly from his own experience or gleans poetry; that the author, moreover, shows bit at a time, scattered through the essays an acquaintance with Warwickshire, the of men like Stevenson, or from the genhome of Shakespeare, and used names eral writings of all good writers. The and language relating to habits, customs, older rhetorics, from which the older sports, there prevalent, and to occupations writers drew such nourishment as the with which Shakespeare was familiar, and technical study of literature offered them, also used provincialisms there current, taught writing as one might teach a child while Bacon is not known ever to have to build block houses, so many blocks for visited that part of England; that he was this wall, so many for that, but this book also steeped in knowledge of rural life, teaches it as the art of living must be and of the customs and habitual modes of taught, recognizing that real literature is speech of the lower classes, which Bacon too complex for exact divisions and classiwould naturally have less acquaintance fications, that it is made of elements inwith; that the plays abound in anachron- extricably mingled and subtly working isms, historical errors, and obscurities and upon one another. It can scarcely be other peculiarities of the text, which Ba- praised with too much warmth as likely con was less likely than Shakespeare to to be of the greatest service to any writer, fall into; and that the author was familiar not too far advanced, who feels that he is with, and was full to repletion of allusions working blindfold with tools which he

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