Permanent link to this item
BOOKS AND BOOKMEN, Issue 15685, 26 December 1914
BOOKS AND BOOKMEN
'Kold Entrenchments' (Imperial Army Series), written by an engineer officer attached to the Imperial Staff. London : John Murray. A sub-titkj of the above id " spado work foT riflemen, hasty fire cover, fire trenches, communications, concealment, obstruction, I shelters," and of it Major-general Scott I MoncrMT says: "The writer, who prefers I to remain anonymous, has concentrated in | his subject something like 20 years of 'practical study acquired as an officer in ' command of a field company of Royal Engineers and on the battle-fields of South Africa and Manchuria. Tim book discusses tlie field work of the spade in its relation to tactics, is void of pedantry and tho superior air, has 87 plans and illustrations, is admirably arranged, has an index and appendix, aiA comes at an appropria.to time for tthose who study their war cables seriously. 'Ceremonial' (Imperial Army Series). Written by an officer of the Regular Armv. Edited by E. John Solano. 1/ondon : John Murray. Tho above is intended for tho nowlyvaised units of the Regular Army, and for 'the Territorial forro and the military f:«reea of tho Dominions. It contains subjects grouped iu a convenient manner, which are dealt with in ollicial training luminals, including those of ceremonial, hvgieno, sanitation, cooking, training, otc. The instructiors and directions throughout are consistent in principle with the official manuals, and there is much general information that will be useiid both to officers and men. The arrangement of the material is excellent, the illustrations are numerous, and .the whole is printed in clear type, and on a scale that the book can bo easily slipped into rh- pocket. • The Second Blooming.' By W. L. George. London: T. FisbeT Unwin. This is Mr W. L. George's mo*t important novel. 'The Second Blooming' is the period in the lives of well-to-do married women, when, childless or their children growing up. they find themselves still younL'. «ilf beautiful, and desperately in need of something to do. Tho three sisters in this book each find different and powerfid distractions, ft is a story of passion i'nd poignancy, bi:t human in its studv of the inevitable crises in the Jives of" the three wsters. •'The Denn'-gods.' By James Stephens. London ; Macmillan and Co. Mr Stephens's new book is concerned with one Patsy MacC'ann. a travelling tinker of vagrant and predatory habits-, his daughter Mary, and some "of their friends, whose lives are spent on the country roado of Ireland. To tlu's group suddenly appear tliree angels, who divest themselves of thrir magnificent robes and crowns and wings -and join the travellingparty under Patsy's Itadership. The joint adventures uf the humane and the angels afford full opportunities for the author's gifus of humor and poetic expression. 'The Tory Tradition.' Bv Geoffrev G. Butler, M.A. London': John, "Murray. This hook consists of four lectures ovigiraliy delivered before the University of Pennsylvania, and dealing ie»pectivcly with Bolingbroko, Burke, Disraeli, and Lord Salitduiry. The author's purpose is to ehow that Toryicm can be constructive. and does not consist, merely in systematised class selfishness. Ife vse« the historical method, but at the end of each lecture discusses the bearing upon present (for the most part economic) problems of the teaching of each of tl-.e statesmen whoso work and ideals he discusses. 'The Training of a Sovereign,' an abridged selection from ; The Girlhood of Queen Victoria,' being Her .Majestv's diaries between tho years 1352 and 1840: published by authority of tho King, and edited by Vie-counf. Ksher. London : John Murrav.
The above is, history, and history of a mast interesting; kind. It is written by a great Queen, .1 id tolls in her own words bow she spent her davs from Friday, Mav 24. 1833 (her birthday: "1 am to-day 14 vears old'"), when sho began to keep a diary, until February 10. 1840, when she dc. J t'Yi'rx»s her wedding and wedding day up to 4 o'clock in tho afternoon, when the vomit: cuple drove away from Buckingham Pah-re—"Albert, and I alone." If our colonial youth have any intelligent to know how a real qinvn thinks and talks and works, and to gain a firsthand knowledge of tho. men and women who have made- much of our history, they cannot, do better than read this nirat in-fer»-?tin_' worii. I/onl Eshor himself supplies a loadable, judicious, and impattial introduction. ■The Girl from tho Backblocks.' By Lilian Turner. Melbourne; Ward, Lock, and Co. Tli is i« ono of those pleasantly-told cheerful stories of Australian girl life that we are accustomed to look for at this time of tho rear from this popular writer. If "Lilian 'liirr.or" is not quite the equal of her mow wideiv-known sister, she is at least as simple, wholesome, and healthy. and her romances may be read with pleasure by all boya and g ; ■-•■". 'Memories of Mary ( 'airington.' By •' H.V.L." Wel'lin.jton : Whiteombo and Tombs. These memories are. the collected essays of a. sensitive soul who, instead of being reared amid comrenial auiTouiidings, is forced bv dire necessity to teach in a back-blocks school in the North Island. to pass lonely winters, and to eat her heart out in solitude. Sh« came, later to Wellington, where " H.V..L." met and knew and loved her. The story, therefore, is pathetically and tragically true. Mi«i Carrington's was a beautiful iuiture, and the 11 essays iti which she expresses herself, and which are hero reprinted, betray evidences of a gracious spirit and of literal y gifts of an. exceptional quality. 'Reminiscences of a Wanderer.' By R. C. Bruce, able-bodied seaman and formerly M.H.R. for Rangitikei. Now Zealand : Whiteombo and Tombs. ThU w a delightful book. In it Mr Bruce., a man of whom wo have h«ird many speak with respect, talks simply and well of the people ho has met and the places he has seen in his wanderings to and fro across tho oooan and the land. Mr Bruce never rose higher in the service than an A.8., but there* is very little that ho doea not know about the handling of a ship. HLs Btories, if not <iil liaw, are vivid and interesting, and poesees t-h*t s«nao and surcuesa of touch that is born of first-hand knowledge. Wo have read ami enjoyed several of tho 50 entertaining chapters o£ which tho book consists, and we win ooinrne.nd it to all who enjoy well-told personal nai-rativ&s of the a*». BUTLER OP 'EREWHON.' HIS ADVENTURES IN NEW ZEALAND. ' A TTrßt Year in Canterbury Settlement, with Other Earlv Essays.' By Samuel Butler. Edited by R. A. Streatfield. We owe it to the piety and excellent judgment of Mr Streatfield that the scattered pieces of Butler 1 * wrltinge in this delightful little volume have been rescued from dusty oblivion. The chief of them ia the description of his experiences as a sheep fanner in Now Zealand, long since, Inaooessible, we believe, except to collectors. In 1859 Butler exchanged the pleasant cloisters of Cambridge for the trials and hardships of life in the new colonv at the other end of the world. It was a leap in the dark. There could be no severer test. Hi* father gave him a few thousand pounds fox his venture, which ho might, easily have losfc. He not only kept it, but doubled it, in five years, though he probably started with no more knowledg© of agriculture and pastoral matters than he had picked up in the " Georgice," and had only his native shrewdness to guide him. Without any undue excess of enthusiasm we are bold enough to say that this story oi hia first year in the wilds is a little nactorpUoe of condensed narrative, in
which, Detfoo-like, he builds up, bit by bit, without strain or perceptible effort, a wonderfully lifelike pioture of the primeval land from which he had to wring his bread. He looks about him as if ho hits just landed in somo " Erewhon," with an eye that misses no essential, and though hlB only themea »to the hardy colonist, the land and the bush, grasses and feed, sheep and bullocks and horses, he ealts his observations "ourrente calamo" with flashes of humor, sly sallies easy to bo missed, bit* of grave mockery, a story hero, a character there, and always makes the best of things, willingly casting off the slough of th.i Old World" and ite conventions, and taking to flannel shirt*, to tea and cold mutton, to a bed on the stones under the etors, quite cheerfully. —The Oxonian Shepherd.The fact was that people went out there to make money, though now and tuen he did hear of one or two who cared for something besides sheep. Ho tells a story of an Oxonian shepherd who was busy baking one day, ■when a man came into his hut, and, picking up a book, found it in a strange tongue, and asked what it ■was. The Oxonian answered that it was 'Machiavelian Discourses upon the First Decades of Livy.' The wonder-stricken visitor laid down the book and took up another, which was, at any rate, written in English. This ho found to be Bishop Butler's 'Analogy.' Putting it down speedily as something not in his line, he laid hands upon a third. This proved to mo ' Patrum Apostolicorum Opera,' on which he saddled his horse and went straight away, leaving the Oxonian to hi« baking. Even when Butler does have an occasional relapse and indulgos in a little gush of emotion he solemnly rebukes himself for the outbreak of tho old Adam. Here is just one illustration. He is looking in the hack country for his sheep run, and one dav comes to the top of a range anl gets a distant glimpse of Mount Cook, the gaint of the New Zealand Alps. Snowy peak after snowy peak came in view as the summit in front of me narrowed. Suddenly, as my eyes got on a level with the top. so that I could see over, I was struck almost breathless by the wonderful mountain that burst on my sight. The effect was startling. It Tcse towering in a massy parallelogram, disclosed from top to bottom in tho cloudless sky, far above all the others. . . . It was a splendid spectacle. But a mourtain in New Zealand is only beautiful if it baa good grafs on it. Scenery is not btenery —''it is country." If it is good for sheep it is beautiful, magnificent; if not it is not worth looking at. Here is a glimpse of the real Butler. But he had a verv hard side to his head, and not oven a Scotsman could have gone more closely into tho p:os and cons before he risked his money—the multiplication of sheep, (he nature uf soils, tha lie of the land, tho varieties of climate and tho seasons it is all just l'kd Robinson Crusoe and his early expel imei.ts with hi* goats and his crops on the desert island; and even to-day we suppose Butler's pages might serve* as a vade'mecum for the beginner. —An I've for Nature. — But more than this—anyone who has lived much the same rough life on the ranges and sheep runs of New Zealand cannot fail to be struck in a moment by the-minuteness and fidelity of his pictures He seems to observe with the eye of a naturalist, and we are constantly reminded of Darwin and the 'Voyage of the Beaglu' when we read bis descriptions of bird life and insects, of tho ferns, the flcwers, the trees, the habits of sheep and cattle, the nature of the rocks, the eccentricities of the rivers, and the, mystery of the strange terraces that rise above them step by step. Who can doubt the.i that Butler'owed much to the years he tpent in tha brooding solitudes of those wonderful islands of ours far away in the ■South Pacific?— Charles Morley, in the ' Daily Chronicle.'
fTR CHARLES STANFORD'S GOOD STOP IKS.
i Pages from an Unwritten Diary, by 'Sir Charles Villiers .Stanford.) In hooks of the " reminiscence"' type the mistake is often made of dwelling too nmch upon trifling incidents' and obscure personages, which, however interesting to the author, cannot impress the general public to the same degree. It is this fauit which makes Sir Charles Stanford's book upon his musical career and experiences at times a little dull, although, on the other hand, much of it is well worth the reading. But on account of tho defect just mentioned one is inclined to think, that the average reader will pass lig'illy over th'» story of tho musician's early days in Dublin, his native city, and also his student career in Cambridge. The picture of musical life in the University, nevertheless, will be read with interest by nil Cambridge men, to whom the C.U.M.S. is familiar. Jn this chapter one finds a capital story, which has, however, nothing to do with music: Sitting next W in the. Senate House was a fellow-Commoner of mature years, whom either examinationmania or the prospect of a family living had induced to try for a University degree. It was a classical paper, and \\~ , as he came, out, met me on the steps holding a slip of paper, which, after careful manoeuvring, his neighbor had, when tho puvtor was on another scent, pushed over to him. On it was written these agonised words: "I have a wife and six children. For God's sake toil mo the English of etiam." One may also como across several neat little glimpses of dons, such as the one who used to time the boiling of his egg by playing the overture to ' Figa.ro.' —The Ne*v and Old.At the present timo, when Germany's lack of respect for historic monuments is being shown, Sir Charles Stanford's remarks on Leipzig, where he studied in the early seventies, are very illuminating. He compares the new Leipzig (apparently visited recently) with the town of hfs student days: The impulse to hack, mutilate, and oven exterminate every historical landmark seems to have seized the. rulers of the town ; . . . the. Rathaus was only saved by a miracle. . . . Tho Thomas-Schulo. home of Bach and his successors in the Cantorship, a noble old house, ... is razed to tho ground Tho unique triangular Pleissenburg, with its knife-like, alacis, has shared the same fate. Tho old Gewandhaus is gone. Bach's two churches aro restored beyond recognition. Jn placo of these deeply interesting and picturesque monuments of their forefathers' taste, blocks of Americo-Parisian flats have sprung tip like mushrooms. So much for the reverence of modern Germany. And the Leipzigers had no excuse. There was plenty of room on the outer side of the ring of boulevards. . . . Even the house where Wagne* was born has beon pulled down, without any apparont necessity. Two other anecdotes from the writer's Teutonic experiences may bo quoted. He visited an old Viennese restaurant which had been a favorite haunt of Beethoven. The following dialogue ensued between him and the. landlord: Do you know that Beethoven used to eat his dinner in there? Beethoven? Beethoven? ] don't know the. name at all. Surely you know Beethoven, the great eomDoser? Oh,' yes, I know him. The gentleman has left! Tho other story is concerned with the unveiling of the Bach statue at Eisenach i The committee discovered that two old Miss Bachs, of the same family as the Cantor, were still living in Thurinpia, and invited them to be presentBut the old ladies replied that they had never heard of such a person as Sebastian Bach, and that there must be some mistake. —Wagner in the Flesh.— Sir Charles Stanford's account of hi 3 visit to Bayreuth in 1876 and his impression of Wagner is worth quoting, If only because it differs so greatly from the experience of so many other people, lis sava: _
f I regretted seeing him in tho flesh The musio was tha musio of Jekyll, Eml the face was the faoe of Hyde. * Whatever magnetism there was in tho man. his physiognomy did its best to counter--1 act. Tho brow and head were most impressive, the mouth and chin equallj repulsive. Together they made a most curious combination of genius and meanness, which exactly corresponded to the Wagner of the Liszt letters and the autobiography. Another impression of Wagner is to be met with later on i George Henry Lewea and George Eliot . . . both spoke to me of this curious lack of personal attraction, at any rats to a casual visitor. George Kliot said to me of tho Wagners; " £hc is a genius. Ho is an epicier " —a very curious and interesting summing up of her impressions, which quite supported my own distant view of this composite extraordinary. Such a remark neither reflects judgment upon George Eliot nor upon Sir Charles Stanford for endorsing it, considering that Wagnor, whatever his faults, sacrificed everything to his art. An interesting remark, apropos of the tendency nowadays to drag out Wagnerian operas by inordinately slow tempi, may be quoted from the chapter on liayreuth. At the rehearsals for ' Parsifal' in 1882 Wagner (according to Dannreuther's com munication to (Stanford) frequently called out to tho conductor, Levi: "Quicker, quicker. The people will bu bored." Another great composer who figures largely in this bonk is Brahms, whose personality and music are discussed in a way that shows the author's adoration for both. Sir Charles Stanford did much to win recognition for the composer in this country, and the accounts of his association with Joachim, in getting performances of Brahms's works at Cambridge and elsewhere, are a record of valuable work in the cause of musical art.—'Daily Chronicle.' DEATH OF WELL-KNOWN NOVELIST. The novelist who wrote under the name of "L. T. Meade" died at the end of October at her residence in Oxford. She was Miss Elizabeth Thomasina Meade, daughter of the Il.tv. R, T. Meado, rector of Nohoval, County Cork. In 1879 she married Mr Alfred Touimin-Smith, and she leaves one. son and two daughters. Deceased was an industrious writer, and her novels were particularly suitable for young girls, by whom her "death will be sincerely regretted. Among her works may be mentioned 'Scamp and I,' ' The Medicine Lady,' 'Stories from tho Diary of a Doctor,' 'The Cloverest Wowan iii England,' 'Daddy's Boy," and ' Daddy'.s GJrl.' ..Several of Mrs" Meade's stories have appeared in this journal.
BOOKS AND BOOKMEN, Issue 15685, 26 December 1914
Use these buttons to limit your searches to particular dates, titles, and more.
Print, save, zoom in and more.