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mediæval romance struggle for the mastery. In In "Joan of the Sword Hand we have enough tragedy and war, enough comedy and love-making to please the most exacting. The medley is agreeable enough, and the book is not one to weary of or to leave unfinished. But despite its stirring action, its gorgeous revival of knightly achievements, of ancient castles, and imperious princesses, we feel that it is a burlesque upon history, that the author knows it to be one, and is determined to show how clever and entertainining he can make a burlesque. The view of Pope Sixtus, quite in keeping with the rest of the history, is a severe satire, with this mitigation, that in absolving a priest's vows to enable him to marry his brother's widow, Pope Sixtus has the full consent and approval of the author, a Scotch minister !
The author of "The Realist "* has shown with great skill how perfectly the modern novel reader is taken in and done for by the new school of sensational writers. The hero is a French author who is writing an English novel, and being a realist wants to draw his characters and scenes from real life. In order to gratify his tastes he nearly drives a worthy young journalist and his lady love, who acts as the author's amanuensis, frantic with horror and alarm. It is all worked out so well that the reader-like the hero and heroine-thrills, trembles, despairs and goes through all the various displays required of the automota in the tale.
A number of worthy and industrious persons, with the critical instinct, have set themselves to destroy the belief that William Shakespeare wrote the plays attributed to him. This alarming campaign grows more virulent with time. It is alarming because so few of us who shine in literature can hope to leave much behind us but our
*The Realist. By Herbert Flowerden. Toronto: Copp, Clark Co.
immortal works. Deprive us of the hoped-for favour of posterity, and what becomes of the zest of present existence ? The latest critic to join the Shakespeare hunt* leaves the bard without a rag of reputation-histrionic, literary, moral or other. We are told that it is doubtful if he could write. This test alone, one feels, raises doubts. Accepting the supposed signatures as genuine, how could a man who appears to have penned his name with the blunt end of a match have composed those magnificent plays? Every printer knows the faultless chirography of literary men. The hand-writing of the present writer has often (at a glance) been distinguished from the Egyptian hieroglyphics. Shakespearian scholars should meet this objection. Before it the fondest admirer quails. Mr. Edwards raises other points, with tireless vigilance and amazing spirit. He pictures" Shaksper," a butcher's boy, illiterate, licentious, an indifferent actor, a hoarder of gain, and claims that whoever wrote the Shakespeare plays this "Shaksper" did not. The theory may excite curiosity, but it is, to our mind, simply preposterous. Commonplace people will turn, without remorse, to Mr. Lee's admirable book as a sane and scholarly production presenting in a coherent manner the salient points in Shakespeare's career, and reviewing for us all the evidence we are apparently ever to have respecting the poet and his works. In a note at the conclusion of the volume Mr. Lee deals with the theory that Bacon was the author of the plays, and while one can readily admit that those who propound this view lack for neither brains nor ingenuity, their quest is in vain. Few, if any, trained and well-balanced critics can doubt that the plays of Shakespeare were the product of just such a man as we have reason to believe Shakespeare was— a man of infinite fancy, of capacious intellect, of remarkable energy, with
*Shaksper not Shakespeare. By Wm. H. Edwards. Cincinnati: The Robert Clarke Co.; The Life of Shakespeare. By Sydney Lee. London: Smith, Elder & Co.
the limitations of a defective education, but inspired by the most wonderful age in English development, and illumining for all time the literature of the world by the splendour of his genius. The idea is now broached that Sir Walter Scott was not the author of all the Waverley novels because the manuscript of several of them is in the handwriting of Ballantyne. It is surely not arrogant obtuseness to treat these theories as the amusements of an age which is at once thorough and capricious, practical yet credulous.
AMERICAN MINISTER TO LONDON.
That Mr. Adams, who represented the United States in England during the Civil War, had an exceptionally difficult position to fill is no secret. The memoir* now published by his son confirms this belief and amplifies the proofs already in existence that the diplomacy of that troublous period was rendered doubly ineffective by the fact that neither the Palmerston nor the Lincoln administration had any real confidence in the other. Mr. Adams was a distinguished man of the highest character, yet the relations between the two countries were so embittered that both his social and official duties were often discharged under circumstances exceptionally trying. The present volume is merely preparatory to a longer work in which the talented son of an illustrious father will exhibit, by means of diaries and letters, a career of much interest to Englishmen from 1861 to 1868, the period during which Mr. Adams was in London. One infers, perhaps unfairly, that the Minister in discharging his functions showed a less gracious demeanour than that exhibited by Lord Lyons, whose tact, kindliness and delicacy figured so impressively in the negotiations at Washington, drawing from Seward, the Secretary of State, a formal acknowledgment, couched in
warm terms, that Lord Lyons had done much in the Mason and Slidell affair to avert a war. Not that Mr. Adams failed in dignity and candour, but if we are to take these pages as a correct interpretation of his mental position throughout a prolonged controversy he was unable to comprehend the British attitude of hostility toward his country -an attitude influenced by at least a generation of unfair diplomatic treatment. After the lapse of forty years one can see clearly enough that England never could have intervened in be- . half of a slave-holding confederacy. The popular instinct was against it. Lord Palmerston's ill-starred alliance with Louis Napoleon, fraught with humiliation to himself and his country, doubtless contributed to the delay in
reaching a real understanding of the position. But Seward's own course, outlined here we must confess with very great leniency, would justify almost any Government in distrusting him and being ready for war rather than peace. This was most unfortunate, since it encouraged the South to hold out in expectation of help. That there were faults on both sides, an impartial observer would admit, but we do not find much confession to that effect in this memoir. It is painful to discover in the temper of the present biographer such deeply rooted hostility to English policy, and it augurs ill for the future relations of the two nations when the best type of Americans find it hard to construe history dispassionately. Apart from this, the book reveals to us a singularly pure and lofty character of whom any son, indeed any country, might well cherish the most affectionate respect.
* Charles Francis Adams. By his son, Charles Francis Adams. Boston: Houghton, Mifflin & Co.
THE TOURIST IN CANADA.
To go about with a small red book -over which you pore intently in railway trains or on top of omnibuses—is in Europe to proclaim yourself a tourist. The red book is Baedeker's handbook for travellers, and it is significant that the year 1900 sees the issue of a new
edition of "Baedeker's Canada,”* an indication that the stream of visitors to the Dominion is now large enough to call for a revised volume. The book is on identical lines with the European handbooks. The system of exact, compressed, detailed information is original, and probably the best devised. The visitor is taken in hand like a child, and moved about, even the street he shall walk on and the view he should take being prescribed. The present writer once followed Baedeker's directions to the letter in visiting an English town-for curiosity's sake—and to thi day retains a more perfect recollection of it than of any other place visited. For the utter stranger the system is admirable. This volume contains 17 maps and plans, the best we have ever There are short introductory
articles on the Constitution by Sir John
Bourinot, on Geography and Geology, by G. M. Dawson, F. R. S.; on Sports and Pastimes, by Messrs. Fuller & Chambers.
SCIENCE DOWN TO DATE.
Mr. Iles has the faculty of doing a number of things well. In literature, as in science, he is intensely practical, and therefore his new bookt will be appreciated by those who dabble science for the purpose of acquiring a knowledge of what it does and can do in modern life. In the opening sentence the author succinctly sets forth his aim as "an attempt briefly to recite the chief uses of fire, electricity and photography, bringing the narrative of discovery and invention to the close of 1899." The attempt is successful. What could be more useful than a careful examination, exact without tiresome details, of the development, the appliances and the utility of telegraphy, the telephone, photography and all the other purposes to which flame and electricity have been turned with won
"Baedeker's Canada," second revised edition. New York: Charles Scribners' Sons. + Flame, Electricity and the Camera. By George Iles. Toronto: The Publishers' Syndicate.
drous results, down to the present year?. Mr. Iles writes well and when he touches upon the economic as well as the actual effects of applied science he can be both entertaining and profound. His book will take its place among the works which we call popular for want of a better term, but which is at once serious and interesting. The author, a Canadian now resident in New York, is well known in Montreal and Toronto for his keen intellectual powers, and a real interest in scientific work.
A PIONEER IN THE CANADIAN WEST.
Mr. Baillie-Grohman, in writing a book about sport and life on the Pacific Coast, has embodied some amusing experiences in British Columbia. He was a pioneer in the Kootenay region, and how he got a steam launch from England to one of the lakes in the region, carrying it on human shoulders through the Selkirks, is a tale in itself. It was entered, after a tussle with the Montreal Customs, as a part of a "settler's effects." There was only one other white resident in the Kootenay district in the early Eighties. Among the Flatbow Indians, he says, the small steamer
"created the most profound surprise, the whole tribe dashing dow to the river bank when they heard her infantile puffs. The biggest thing about the "Midge was her whistle, and to get permission to pull the string and send forth a shrill blast was the most prized privilege I could bestow on any buck I desired to distinguish."
The Indians were glad to supply wood for the steamer in return for the honour of pulling the whistle. These were early days indeed! The author is severely humorous at the expense of the slow-going pioneers. He had despatches for one of the Provincial Ministers, which he tried to deliver on the 29th June in a certain year. The Minister spent but a few minutes in his office, and successfully dodged visitors.
Sport and Life in the Hunting Grounds of Western America and British Columbia. By W. A. Baillie-Grohman. London: Horace Cox.
Next day there was a cricket match, and the Minister was, of course, present. July 1st and 4th were both kept as public holidays, and the Minister put in four days' fishing at Cowichan. The fuming Englishman had to wait, but he takes his revenge now. There is
NOT being a popular novelist Ernest
Seton-Thompson's reputation grows slowly, but it is growing. The foundations have been laid broad and deep, and the structure may be as lasting as a Rhine castle or the Appian Way. His latest book "The Biography of a Grizzly" (Toronto: The Copp Clark Co.) with its seventy-five drawings, is a work of art, of art in its two-fold sense. It is an artistic story, this biography of Wahb, the huge grizzly bear that was once a little yellow ball rolling over and over on the grass with three other little yellow balls, and a great mother grizzly looking on contentedly. What Wahb learned about traps, smells, roots, ants, and the pleasure and pain of life is admirably set down. by this sage interpreter of the animal kingdom. The book is artistic in another sense, for the drawings by Mr. Thompson and his accomplished wife have been reproduced so as to reveal and interpret what the story tells. The volume is most dainty, a pearl among the many gems now being produced to satisfy the rising taste of an appreciative public. And Mr. and Mrs. Thompson are Canadians.
Oh, the stream of paper-covered novels! The inventor thereof should have been throttled in his infancy, but perhaps he could not foresee that some day the name of paper-covered novels would be legion. If people did not buy the trash, of course it would not be printed.
Within paper covers however some good literary work may occasionally be found. "A Man's Woman" by Frank Norris and "The Waters of
much about big game, the difficulties of grumbling pioneers, and other phases of a new country, and those who wish to see British Columbia through the spectacles of a cynical outsider will be amused with Mr. Baillie-Groh
Edera" by Ouida are passable (Toronto: The Musson Book Co.) The former deals with an artic explorer and the woman who influenced him; the latter describes the lives of some miserable peasants in northern Italy-those who are bent and broken and have many years of unanswered prayers.
The war will be productive of many books. Arthur H. Scaife, an Englishman who came to Canada some years ago and assisted in the foundation of the Vancouver Province and who has recently returned to London, has written a volume entitled "The War to Date," (London: T. Fisher Unwin). He has done his work well, making free use of everything that has been printed in the London papers. The work is magnificently illustrated.
Dennis Edwards & Co., of Capetown, publishers of the valuable volume "Picturesque South Africa," are issuing in twelve parts, at one and six, "The Anglo-Boer War Album." Each part contains sixteen large illustrations which are just as valuable as large photographs and much less costly.
"Boers and British " is a two-penny pamphlet, by Frank R. Cana, issued by The St. James Gazette, Whitefriars, London. It deals with the historical events from 1881 up to the beginning of the war.
"Nature's Garden" is the title of a large volume for the botancial beginner, by Neltje Blanchan, author of two books on bird life. It contains intimate life-histories of over five hundred species of wild flowers, written in untechnical, vivid language. One of the features
is the information given concerning the special insect to which each flower is adapted. Another feature is the collection of fifty-six coloured plates and sixty-three black and white reproductions. (Toronto: Wm. Briggs.)
Attention has already been called to excellent series of chief scientific books being published by Schleicher Frères, 13 Rue des Saints Pères, Paris. Number is to hand and is entitled 19 "L'Electricité et ses Applications," by Dr. Fouveau de Courmelles.
The fourth of the yearly volumes of Historical Reviews, now being issued by the University of Toronto Library, mentions a very large number of books, pamphlets and articles that have been issued during 1899. It is a question whether the method of the volume is such as to confuse or enlighten the reader. When a dozen books dealing with closely related subjects are reviewed separately, no matter how well the reviewing may be done, there is no connected array of arguments laid before the reader. For example: In the first division of the book, "Canada's Relation to the Empire," there are reviews of eight volumes, one article and one pamphlet. Several of these might have been ignored or merely mentioned. The more important books should have been considered together and the net result of fresh research and new opinions definitely stated in one article. The Quarterly Review sometimes reviews eight or ten books on related subjects in one article, summing up the net result so as to give a comprehensive and connected survey of the trend of thought of all the writers. This method of treatment is much to be preferred to that adopted by the editors of the volume under considerations. This would, of course, entail wider reading and deeper thought, but it would not be less scholarly work than might be expected from persons assuming so much authority. Such a method would enable the reader to get a comprehensive grasp of each subject
which cannot be gained from a number of scrappy reviews and would enable the reviewer to give much broader information in a much smaller space. In reading the various reviews, one is sometimes forced to stop and wonder what the reviewer has been aiming at in his work. Some of the reviews indicate the errors and weaknesses in a volume without mentioning or referring to the special information which the book may contain. Therefore after the review is read, the reader does not know whether or not he should add the volume to his library.
To illustrate by a Canadian example, reference may be made to the method pursued by Dr. Brymner in his yearly report on Canadian archives. To each volume of reprinted documents he prefixes a review showing the relation to each other of the various documents, and pointing out their significance and their salient features. Such an introduction to each of the six sections in the volume edited by Professor Wrong and Mr. Langton would have been very valuable and would have been welcomed by the person who desires to know what each year's publications add to our knowledge of Canadian history.
In the division of the book entitled "Archæology, Ethnology and FolkLore," some twenty-six books and articles are reviewed by Prof. A. F. Chamberlain in four groups. This method is much more satisfactory than that adopted in the other sections for the reasons that have already been stated.
David Boyle, the Ontario Archæologist, has issued his report for 1899 (Education Department, Toronto) and has added much valuable data to our archæological knowledge. The notes on some recently-added specimens are very valuable. Wm. E. Connelley writes of "The Wyandots," Benjamin Sulte of "The Wars of the Iroquois,' Alex. T. Cringan of "Dance Songs of the Iroquois " and several writers give much new information concerning the sites of ancient Indian villages.