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LITERARY.

Sir Gilbert Parker recently received another recognition of his services to the TCmpire'. When King GeoTge distributed the birthday honours he made Sir Gilbert a Privy Councillor.

R. L. Stevenson's letter to hte publisher, refusing remuneration for hie "Father Damien," and stating, "I would not eat a penny roll that piece of bludgeoning gained for mc," realised £40 at a London sale.

Kathleen Norris, whose new novc!, "The Hea-rt of Rachael," will be published by John Murray, is a Californian. Her first story travelled from magazine to magazine for a year, and was finaUy accepted by the first magazine which had declined it!

Marius Lyle, to whose novel, "Unhappy in Thy Daring," was awarded the prize* of £250 in the fiction competition conducted by Mr. Andrew Melrose, left home at the age of sixteen—ran away, in fact —rather than enter a hated factory at Whitchurch, in Wales.

There are now 114 papers published in the French trenches. Some aro weekly. some bi-weekly, some monthly, and all crane out as regularly ac bombs allew. Occasionally, if the regiment concerned is near a town, tho copies are printed, but usually they are written out by hand.

Among the new recipients of Oivil list pensions are Mr. W. H. Mallock ( £150) ; Mrs. Hlingworth, widow of tho late Dr. Hlingworth ( £100); Mrs. Bui len, widow of F. T. Bullen, the novelist ( £50); Lady Murray, widow of Sir Jamew Murray, editor of the New English Dictionary ( £170).

Ford Madox Hueffer declares that Army life ie by far the best life, and that being a eecond-lieutenant gives him more joy than his most successful novel. "Saki" Munroe, too, wrote not long ago that he was having the "time of hie life" ac a corporal. He is as proud of having risen from a Tommy to his present rank as he would have been of a literary masterpiece in bygone days.

" Ironmouth," by Coralie Stanton end Heath Hosken (Stanley Paul and Co.) possesses tho qualities which generally characterise the novels of these writers. There is a subtle plot, with many ramifications, in which love and murder and Russian anarchism and the aetute detective all play their allotted parts. Curiosity is aroused with the opening chapter, and not finally satisfied until the last page has been read. In this way presomably it accomplishes its intended purpose of whiling away the idle htours.

Among the many statements made by Northcliffe'e ecout-writer in his "My Secret Service," is a description of the elaborate preparations the Germans made for a projected invasion of Egypt ' "I wish," writes the anonymous author. "1 were able to persuade the public of tho seriousness of the Egyptian situation. I am convinced that the Turks are serious in .their intended invasion of Egypt and-India, and as the whole affair would be under German management it will be done thoroughly. Four thousand Gonnana have already been trained to ride camels at Hagenbeck's Menapcrie in Hamburg. Aleppo is to be the starting point, and I «hall be greatly 6iirprised if within the next few months something is not heard of Captain Djamil Pasha, who is in command there.'

"Some Elderly People and their Young Friends," by S>. Maenaughton (O. 801 l and Sons), is a very entertaining society story, in which figure a number of welldrawn characters, whose lives run in more or less conventional grooves, undisturbed by any note of tragedy, and who have yet sufficient of individuality to excite and retain the reader's interest. The love affairs of a rich maiden lady of forty and a bashful professor make up quite a pretty episode, and the story drifts from London to a picturesque manor in Surrey, opening up pleasant vietas of English ecenery and society, and placing in amusing contrast the conventional maiden of Victorian upbringing with the smart society girl of to-day. i Mr. Harold Spender's biography of General Botha, published by Constable, etates that at the time of the Jameson Raid Botha was all for having "Dr. Jim" executed. But when the Union was forming the two men joined hands in the interests of the future of South Africa. A British extremist marvelled at his leader's magnanimity. "Are you aware," he said to Jameson one day, "that Botha was one of those men who wanted to bhoot you after the Raid?" Jameson smiled. "Ah," he said, "Botha was allyays right," and the good Loyalist turned away dismayed." The Pre-j mier of South Africa, Mr. Spender says, is forced to live a very simple life. Some details are supplied us: "Ho used to smoke, he hae had to give it up altogether. He is a- practising not professing teetotaller. Ho never goes to a theatre in South Africa. He will play cards or billiards with hie family all the ovening. He is accounted a very good bridge-player. He has taken to golf. It ifi his frequent habit to 'motor out to the golf-course at five in the morning and to play until eight, even when Parliament has kept him sitting till after midnight. He is eesentialjy of a jovial good-hum oured nature. He hae a special aversion from gossip." Lady Poore, in her "Recollections of an Admiral's Wife," remarks on the independence of Australian society: "In Australian society nobody is more popular, no one more freely entertained, than the girl or woman who earns her own living, whether as an artist, a mirse. a masseuse, a teacher, or a tradeswoman But here I must observe that the working lady of Australia possesses the gift oi putting off her business face along with her business gown the moment she 'downs tools,' and that she plays as hard B.F. she works; hence her social acceptability—and it is nofc because «he is cehamed of her trade or profession that she so swiftly lays aside its insignia, including such traces of fatigue and worry as are effaceable. She possesses the capacity, rare among women, for doing cne thing at a time, and doing it thoroughly." Lady Poore funnily remarks that she was very careful never to mention the subject of "convicts" while among Australians, and in this connection she relates an amusing , incident: "An old Aiistralian lady who had just inherited a nice little legacy 'got a bit of her own back' rather neatly when she replied to the question of a travelling Englishwoman calling to congratulate her: 'And now, of course, you'll be making a trip to England?'" 'England? No, thank you. Why, that's where all the convicts came from;"

An unusual tribute to Jamee Norman Hall, soldier-author, is indicated in the Canadian demand for "Kitchener's Mob." A large edition of the book was ordered from Canada as soon ac it was ready, and the Canadian papers give it high praise.

A book title is important, and Mr. and Mrs. Egerton Castle go to Longfellow for the one they give their new story, "The Wind's Will":

A 'boy's trill Iβ the 'wind's will, iAnd the thoughts of youth are lons', Jon K thoughts.

I. A. R. Wylle, author of "The Hermit Doctor of Gay_a," wae bora in Melbourne. Since the age of twenty-one she has lived ■by her pen. In her new story, indicated above, ehe returns to the fascinating Indian setting of her first published book and presents a sequence of adventure and romance. G. P. Putnem'e Sone are the publishers.

In "The Two Williams," by Paul-Louie Hervier, the author states that the Kaiser is superstitious and believes in dicama. He uses auto-suggestion to dream tbe dream he wants, and for years the dream with which he has lulled the nighte of hie birthdays has been a dream of "war, the domination of the •whole world by Germany." But his love of war, we gather, does 'not prevent him from having the carriages of his special train "covered with a coat of white paint and the roofe painted with great red crosses," so that "the Imperial train resembles a hospital Pullman."

"Newsholme's School Hygiene" hee | been a standard work on its subject for the past thirty yearn, and in 1907, with very slight revision, had reached its twelfth edition. The author, however, realised that " the Tapid advance of the science of school hygiene and the extensions of its practice in new departures in school-life" have rendered it desirable that the book should be re-written, and with hie full approval and endorsement, Messre. George Allen and Unwin, Ltd., secured for the work Dr. James Kerr, " whose knowledge of the science of school hygiene," it is claimed, " and whose original work in promoting its advance, are unrivalled among English epeaking communities." The subject is treated comprehensively in all its divisions, the author's conclusions being supported by statistics in which are collated the matured experience of many scientific investigations into the conditions of echool life and medical research regarding the ailments of children. The opening chapter is devoted to physiology, psychology, and ethics in relation to hygiene. After which consideration' is. given to the development of the faculty of speech, and the treatment of . such ailments ac defective enunciation ' and stammering. The questions of age and sex bring under review the various systems of education. Dr. Kerr ie not very favourable to infant schools. He says, " Schooling in the cense of purely teaching the threo R's is a folly below the age of cix or coven. . . Nutrition is the be-all and end-all of the child life i before the age of seven, to which all other things must be mado subsidiary." ,He lays great stress upon the value of I open-air schools, and the preservation of i a pure atmosphere in eehool-roome. 'ihe subjecta of enlarged tonsils and adenoids, 1 defective eyesight, deafness, dental care, physical education and medical inspection are all exhaustively discussed, while attention is also given to such questions ,as school holidays, the health of teachers and echool accidents. We cannot , conceive of any more useful handbook , than this as a guide for teachers who , desire to conduct their work under conditions most favourable to the preservation of the health of the children placed under their care.

Mr. Murray's quarterly Teview, "Science Progress," for July, contains a numbor of interesting articles on current subjeete. Mr. S. C. Bradford, B.Sc., contributes a concise "Historical Sketch of the Chemistry of Rubber," in which he notes' that the "first rumours of the existence of rubber reached Europe coon after tbe second voyage of Columbia, and in 1523 solid playing balls of this substance seen in Mexico were described by a Spanish writer of that period. The name caoutchouc was derived from the name given to the material by the natives of Ecuador and Peru, who used rubber in making -waterproof boots. In 1770 it came into vne for erasing lead pencil marks, and gradually thereafter its employment for coating balloons and clothing and cutting into elastic bands followed upon the discovery of processes of manufac frure. A good deal of capital invested in America in the manufacture of rubbe r goode about 1830 was lost In consequent! of the susceptibility of the rubber to atmospheric conditions, tout after many years of research Goodyear, of Newhaven, Connecticut, discovered the process of vulcanisation, and in 1844 Hancock found that the same result was obtained by dipping rubber Into melted sulphur. The manufacture of hollow rubber articles then rapidly extended, reaching its climax with the invention of the rubber tyre. The writer describes the results of research for the production of synthetio which, he observes, by a singular coincidence resulted In the almost simultaneous discovery of a. process by English and German chemists, the Engrkh patent being applied for three months before the German, and it is anticipated that thie rubber ■will coon be placed on the market. Another very practical paper in the July issue of "Science Progress" deab with the subject of "The Pollution of tbe Sea," by. sewage, in the course of which the writer pointe out that the British Sewage Commission <was constituted in 1898, and has continued it* investigations ever since with very unsatisfactory results. It ie comforting, however, to learn that "seafieheries are hardly at all affected by tho discharge of sewage into the sea," and that "a relatively high proportion of sewage, even euoh a proportion that the polluting matter is recognisable without resort to chemical or bacteriological analyses, does no harm to mueeele, cy6ters, or cockles." In fact, it is possible to increase the yield of a shellfish 'bed enormously by transplantation of the molluscs into sewage polluted waters, and that "the subsequent removal of sewage bacteria co taken up by the animals as an incident of their feeding can also be ensured by redeposition for a day or two at the most in clean eea water." In an interesting article on "The Romance of Radium" we are told that "the proportion of radium to uranium is always about one in three millions"; that "Sir Ernest Rutherford has calculated that the total amount of radium in the earth's crust ie of the order of 500 tone"; and that "it ie believed that not much more than one cunce of radium has yet been separated." i Its price is at the rate of £600,000 an] ounce. A large number of eseaye, notes and revie-wa on subjects of scientific interest make this issue a particularly readable one even for those wihoee scientific knowledge is of the popular, rather than the teehjoical ohaxfKs«x» j

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Bibliographic details

LITERARY., Auckland Star, Volume XLVII, Issue 210, 2 September 1916

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2,237

LITERARY. Auckland Star, Volume XLVII, Issue 210, 2 September 1916

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