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the ingenious speculations of the Baconians, and contents himself with placing the actual facts of Shakspeire's life as known to us beside the assumptions and inferences of his numerous biographers. He discusses the traditions which have crystallised round the truant son of illiterate parents, who in a dozen years had become an accomplished writer and a proficient actor, and ended his days as a money-lender in his native town. Mr. Greenwood advances no theory of his own, unless it be by the indirect suggestion that there were born almost contemporaneously and at no great distance from each other a William Shakespeare and a William Shakspere whose separate careers may in some inexplicable fashion been fused into one personality. He is content to deal with what is known and generally accepted concerning the Stratford Shakespeare, and he leaves his readers to draw their own conclusions from an absolutely impartial summing up of the evidence.
Christopher Marlowe and George Chapman have perhaps had their due meed of fame among the Elizabethan poets; but the same can hardly be said of Webster, Tourneur, Marston, Rowley, Heywood and, most erratic and unequal of all, Thomas Dekker. Mr. A. C. Swinburne's Age of Shakespeare (Chatto & Windus) is a series of essays on these brilliant minor figures in an age of marvellous literary achieve. ment, written with all the author's wonted vigour, scholarship and critical discernment, and dedicated in an impressive and grateful sonnet to the memory of Charles Lamb, their rediscoverer, and the first introducer of Mr. Swinburne in his childhood to the knowledge of them. Students of Elizabethan literature will welcome the volume, and other readers may well be attracted to a closer scrutiny of the minor stars in the constellation of which Shakespeare is the chief.
No better tribute can be paid by scholars to a friendly nation than the study of its literature. On many grounds it is a matter of congratulation that Cambridge, in the person of Mr. Arthur Tilley, should have shown the way which Oxford may soon follow. From Montaigne to Molière (Murray) the gap at first sight seems too wide to cover in a single volume, but Mr. Tilley proves conclusively that it can be done, and that the poet was the natural and logical heir to the essayist. He guides us through the shifting phases of French taste, learning and affectation of its religious emotions and philosophical misgivings—and shows how the uniformity resulting from these divergent influences was momentarily inevitable.
Mr. Scott James has set himself a difficult task in attempting to classify the tendencies of Modernism and Romance (Lane) as exemplified by contemporary writers of fiction. Though not an exhaustive review of the ever-varying and extending arsenal at the novelist's command, Mr. Scott James's survey will be of considerable help to readers who like to group their authors. He recognises the well-marked and divergent school of the Psychologists, the Decadents, the Apostles of Protest, the Ingenious Philosophers, the Borderlanders and others, but it is to the upholders of “the New Romance," of which Stevenson was the ablest exponent, that he looks as the inspirers of future novel workers.
Amateurs as well as students will be grateful to Mr. W. P. Courtney
for revealing by so attractive a method The Secrets of National Literature (Constable). He might, had he wished, have followed the example set by Barbier and Quérard and other labourers in the field of anonymous literature, but in this case this volume would have had none of its actual attractions for the general reader. Mr. Courtney carefully analyses, or ingeniously suggests, the motives which have, or may have induced writers, often of eminence, to conceal their identity, and one readily endorses his conclusion that in most cases the most obvious reason for secrecy is the one most rarely put forward. Mr. Courtney's intimate acquaintance with not only the main roads but the more obscure by-paths of English literature especially qualify him for discussing the source of many anonymous and pseudonymous writings, and future explorers will be grateful to him for putting on record the results of his careful research.
In many well-known instances, articles written under special or immediate influences have become permanently valuable, either for the keenness of their criticism, or for the opportunities of their authors. Both reasons may be put forward for the republication of the late Sir Spencer Walpole's Essays, Political and Biographical (Fisher Unwin). His social and official position brought him in contact with the leaders of opinion, and his own special qualifications as a historian gave him a definite position in the world of letters. The essays here brought together are mainly political and display Sir S. Walpole's intimate acquaintance not only with the inner history of politics in his own day, but of those of earlier periods, in many cases obtainable only from family papers to which he had had access.
As a colourist in descriptive writing Lafcadio Hearn fully merits the position he has obtained in contemporary literature. He was also a born journalist and a delightful correspondent. Letters from the Raven (Constable) to his friend Henry Watkin were written to one who had helped him in his direst straits before Hearn had attracted attention. The writer has opened his heart as well as his mind to his older friend with a fulness and frankness which suggest that their publication is a breach of confidence. Mr. Bronner, however, who edits them, does his best to disarm criticism on this score. Dr. Gould has also written a book Concerning Lafcadio Hearn (Fisher Unwin) which will stimulate rather than satisfy curiosity respecting the wanderer who, having drifted to New Orleans and Martinique, discovered his true environment in remote Japanese cities and villages, where he found an inspiration which America had but partially aroused.
It would be difficult to appraise too highly the two volumes which contain the results of an International Inquiry into Moral Instruction and Training in Schools (Longmans). The inquiry was set on foot by a few practical men anxious to see wbether character might not be better developed by more systematic moral training. Professor Sadler, who writes the preface to the compilation of evidence and suggestions given, makes clear that everything has been done to elucidate the problem. “Never since the Revival of Learning has it been necessary to bring so large a body of new knowledge into educational account." This self-appointed task has been carried out with a full sense of its
importance, of the need of discreet action, and of the paramount value of moral training at a time when religious instruction is made a matter of political rivalry. The conclusions at which the writers arrive are worthy of the most careful attention from all educationists, and should serve as a help to all who as teachers desire the moral improvement of their pupils.
It is presumably with the object of putting forward the views of certain distinguished New England writers that Captain A. T. Mahan has embodied them with his own in a volume, Some Neglected Aspects of War (Sampson Low & Co.). In some degree these detached essays may be accepted as an apologia for the last Hague Conference, which failed to come to any relaxation of the right of capture of private pro. perty at sea. After discussing the difficulties which lie in the way of arriving at a settlement in accordance with the wishes of neutrals, Captain Mahan deals with the larger question of the ethics of war-of which, however much the morality may be questioned, the necessity in certain cases is universally recognised. The “National Conscience" of one country may at any moment be roused to take a totally opposite view of an incident to that held by another nation. Each will assert that its view is both morally just and ethically right. How this hostile attitude may be attenuated though not wholly removed is dealt with in this instructive volume.
GEOGRAPHY AND TRAVEL. As might be expected from so open-minded an observer and so acute a critic as Mr. Rowland Prothero, his essays on The Pleasant Land of France (Murray) are delightful reading. He unfolds the country and its people to those who care to linger on the road, and to make acquaintance with their surroundings. Mr. Prothero can help his readers to a better knowledge of the present and of the past of French peasant and country life, especially in the West. He knows all that is probably known about the Druids, and he enables less well-equipped visitors to Brittany to see with their understanding as well as with their eyes. In his chapters on French literary art he shows his sympathy with many a writer whose fame on this side of the Channel still burns dim, but his verdict on Rabelais that he was “immoral ” will not be accepted by the great majority of critics in every country where the great satirist's works are read, who regard him as one of the protagonists of the French Renascence.
It needs some courage and self-assurance to follow in the footsteps of Richard Ford, and to challenge comparison with his unrivalled handbook. Nevertheless it must be admitted that Mr. John Lomas's In Spain (A. & C. Black), although a not wholly new book, tells a good many things about Spain and Spaniards that did not interest Ford, and many more which have come to the front since the days of George Borrow and Blanco White. The mills of time grind slowly in the Peninsula, but Mr. Lomas who has watched their working for over a quarter of a century is able to tell us much that is fresh and interesting, which he meets and notes for the use of others in his wanderings from one end of the country to the other. To those who care to travel in a
simple and sometimes in a rough way Spain offers unlimited attractions, and to such Mr. Lomas's book will be of invaluable assistance.
No one can be better qualified to write about the Alps than Mr. W. A. B. Coolidge, who has not only climbed every peak from the Mediterranean to the Tyrol, but is one of the highest living authorities on Swiss history, and has acquainted himself with the life of the Alpine folk by permanently residing among them. The Alps in Nature and History (Methuen) is a store of recondite information concerning the geography, bistory, and ethnology of the whole region, as well as the languages spoken and the history of mountaineering. Probably little will ever be added to it; but the part most interesting to the ordinary reader will be the chapters dealing with modern mountaineering, the making of guides, and the life of the Alpine dwellers outside the tourist season. The illustrations of mountain scenery are superb, and the chapters on Alpine birds, beasts and flowers give a special attraction to the book.
For a country to be at once accessible and inhospitable is probably a reason for its want of popularity amongst explorers. Mrs. Hubbard's story of A Woman's Way through Unknown Labrador (Murray), however, shows that there is no lack of hardship to be undergone in traversing the sparsely populated barren country. Mrs. Hubbard bravely took up the task which her husband had left uncompleted, and to which he succumbed. She recounts her experiences in the wild districts in simple but attractive language. The services she has rendered to topographists and scientific men can only be measured by experts. To the general reader she has opened up the knowledge of a country where few will feel tempted to follow her.
In a fishing boat of forty-seven tons register, with a crew of seven men, Captain Amundsen accomplished The North - West Passage (Constable), and after an absence of nearly four years from quitting Christiania reached Alaska. His story of his journeyings—of which he attributes the idea and its realisation to the guidance of Franklin and M'Clintock, his forerunners-is told with modesty and brevity. Captain Amundsen passed two winters in the Polar Seas, apparently under more favourable circumstances than as a rule is the lot of Arctic explorers. His first lieutenant, Hansen-whose diary is included in these volumes-made long sleigh journeys on land, and together they were able to gather much useful and fresh information respecting both the Danish and the Boothia Eskimo. Whether the results obtained for the purposes of science-meteorologic or ethnographic-outweigh the hardships undergone by the adventurers is an open question ; but that they have successfully achieved their purpose must be admitted.
Mr. Selous has already made good his claim to speak with authority on the fauna of South Africa, and his last volume of African Notes and Reminiscences (Macmillan) will enforce it. Mr. Selous is not only an intrepid sportsman but a careful observer. As the former he tells some extraordinary stories about the ways of wild animals; as the latter he throws out hints and suggestions which must be of value to ethnologists. It is evident that so far the attempts to classify the yarious Bush tribes have been more arbitrary than scientific, and the results of Mr. Selous, observation and study of those with whom he was brought in contact, may lead to the belief in a more homogeneous source than has hitherto been recognised. President Roosevelt prefaces the volume by an appreciative estimate of the doings of his brother-hunter of big game.
Mr. Winston Churchill's idea that it was the duty of a Minister of the Crown to make personal acquaintance with the sphere of his duties led him to visit the country round which much controversy has centred. The outcome of this journey was a book My African Journey (Hodder & Stoughton) which gives an impartial view of the condition of the country and the prospects offered to settlers in British East Africa. For the moment the chief obstacle to progress in a practical sense is that at Nairobi, the chief town of a large district, “every white man is a politician,” and the problem of black and brown (African or Indian) labour has yet to be solved. Mr. Winston Churchill, however, returns convinced that Uganda is capable of becoming a paradise for willing workers, and his guide-book-as this volume is-may be turned to profitable account by all in search for an outlet to their energy.
The legendary interest once attaching to the Mountains of the Moon has long since given place to the scientific questions which high mountain ranges near the Equator present to zoologists, botanists and others. Mr. A. F. B. Wollaston's simple but attractive account of the expedition organised by the British Musuem authorities for exploring the district from Ruwenzori to the Congo (Murray) shows that, whilst much yet remains to be accomplished in those districts, our countrymen have reason to be proud of the results already obtained. Thanks moreover to the progress of photography, explorers need not now rely solely on their powers of description to bring before their readers a correct impression of the wonders of nature which have been revealed, and in the present volume these helps to the “fireside » traveller are more than usually adequate. The adventures through which the travellers passed were such as many others have experienced, but Mr. Wollaston tells them with modesty and self-restraint, recognising that scientific research was the main object of the expedition.
The enthusiasm with which Mr. R. F. Johnston speaks of the people among whom he has lived so many years in no way detracts from the value of his book, From Peking to Mandalay (Murray). His journeyings took him through many little-known districts lying between the outlying Tibetan provinces and Yunnan. He travelled through the Trans-Mekong Shan States, which have hitherto enjoyed a doubtful reputation, and he testifies to the uniform kindness and courtesy with which he was treated by high and low, although he carried with him neither credentials nor a well-stocked purse. Moreover he had neither guards, nor servants, and but a scanty knowledge of the dialects spoken by the natives. He claims for the Burman the true solution of the aim of life, the power and will to perform adequate hard work, to enjoy himself gracefully and to live unselfishly.
For various causes the mist for many centuries has shrouded the “ Land of the Morning Calm.” Such a work therefore as Dr. G. T. Ladd's In Korea with Marquis Ito (Longmans) will be widely welcomed.