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Dickens, he does so with his heart, while his head-we mean his critical sense-will have to rest.
A really enjoyable book, full of pathos and humor, is "Folks from Dixie,"(*) by Paul Laurence Dunbar. While his Lyrics of Lowly Life, the success of which has certainly been deservedly large, show this refined young negro author as a gifted master of verse, this new volume proves him to be no less a success as a prose writer. It contains twelve short stories of negro life, remarkable in their clever characterization, and written in an easy, fluent, yet graceful style, notwithstanding the abundance of dialect, which, however, is as easy to read as plain English. Every one who can appreciate quiet humor and healthy sentiment, who has an open heart for the little joys and sorrows of lowly life, will be pleased with this charming little volume. Quite a special attraction of no mean quality is added to it by those uniquely characteristic and clever illustrations by E. W. Kemble, who like no other artist is gifted to pencil this human type in all its raggedness, good heartedness, childish humor, and realistic originality.
At the present time war stories are en vogue, and any book treating on this theme is bound to be of special interest. Such interest is all the more deserved if the book combines the qualities of entertaining reading
Folks from Dixie. By Paul Laurence Dunbar. Illustrated by E. W. Kemble. 12mo. cloth. Price 90 cents. By mail $1.00.
with accuracy of description, as it is the case with G. W. Stevens, a war correspondent's new book, "With the Conquering Turk."(1) It is a lively narrative of travel and adventure, and a vivid description of an eye witness of the late war between Turkey and Greece. Mr. Stevens' characterization of the Turkish soldier is very interesting, and his book will find much appreciation and, doubtless, a large host of eager and pleased readers. Mr. Stevens will be remembered by our readers as the author of that very clever critical study of American life entitled "The Land of the Dollar," which created last year a good deal of comment pro et contra.
It has been extremely difficult, from the contradictory newspaper reports, to get any accurate idea of the struggle in Cuba, and the returned correspondents, who have attempted to throw light on the matter, have done little to clear up the confusion. Richard Harding Davis, who spent only a short time on the island and failed to reach the front, has given the best picture of the condition of the place and the peculiar features of the guerrilla fighting that we have seen. He calls his book "Cuba In War Time," () and his graphic pen pictures are supplemented with sketches by Remington.
What Mr. Davis has done is to
(1) With the Conquering Turk. By G. W. Stevens. 8vo. cloth with maps. Price $1.50. By mail $1.65. (2) Cuba in War Time. By Richard Harding Davis. Illustrated by Frederic Remington. With new colored war map and flags for marking the positions of the armies. Board covers, price 90 cents. By mail $1.00. Paper, price 33 cents. By mail 43 cents.
make clear the reason of the little fighting that goes on and the extraordinary plan of campaign of the Spaniards, who are evidently depending on fever and starvation to reduce the insurgents. He declares flatly that the sloth of the Spanish officials and their failure to get out and pursue insurgents is due largely to their belief that so long as the war goes on they will have a far better chance to steal from the Spanish treasury than they would enjoy in times of peace. And to clinch what he says of the wide-spread dishonesty, even among the higher officers, he instances the large business done by a jeweler in one of the Cuban cities, who has sold thousands of dollars' worth of watches, diamonds and costly trinkets to Spanish officers whose regular salary will scarcely permit the purchase of ordinary claret to wash down their rations. On the question of atrocities and of the sufferings of the pacificos Mr Davis gives what he saw with his own eyes and what he heard from reputable Americans and Englishmen who had no reason to exaggerate. These chapters should be read by any one who fancies that injustice has been done the Spaniards by newspaper correspondents. Mr. Davis' book ought to be read by all who desire to get a correct and uuprejudiced
view of the Cuban conflict.
gether an interesting book on an interesting subject. Grover Flint, the author, who publishes herein his field note book, which he kept during the four months he spent with the Cuban Army as war correspondent, is particularly qualified for this work, through his experience in the United States Army and his knowledge of military affairs, and through his thorough acquaintance with the Spanish language and Spanish customs, having also lived in Spain for some time. The book has an introduction by John Fiske, which gives an excellent summary of Cuba's history under Spain's unmerciful rule.
When that famous, or rather infamous trail of Emile Zola, which stirred up the entire civilized world and caused such a justly strong feeling against France, took place in Paris, the publisher of Le Journal, in which Zola's last book Paris(*) was then appearing in serial form, withheld its publication, and many dealers, particularly from the provincial towns in France, cancelled or reduced their advance orders, fearing that public opinion, being then to a large extent against him, would interfere with the sale of his book. Yet their fears proved utterly unfounded. Zola is too undeniably a great writer, his literary fame and power is too well established, and the majority of thinking readers are too eager to accept a good or an interesting book (both qualities being not necessarily congruent), to be biased by occurrences which
(*) Paris. By Emile Zola. 2 vols. 12mo. cloth. Price $1.35. By mail $1.58.
have nothing to do with the ability of the man as an author or with his
literary work. While it cannot be denied that Lourdes and Rome, the two previous novels of the trilogy to which Paris belongs, are rather dull and heavy reading as novels, yet of course having all the psychological interest and showing all the decriptive power of Zola, his last book is most certainly a masterpiece both as a novel and as a psychological study. The following passages which we quote from an excellent lengthy review in a recent number of the Chap Book, will give our readers a good idea of the contents and the purpose of this remarkable book.
"As in Lourdes and Rome society again is viewed though the eyes of the young priest, Pierre Froment, the man with the towering brow and gentle mouth, who returns to Paris after the loss of all faith and all hope, and tries to satisfy his spiritual needs by works of charity. His efforts to help the poor bring him into contact with all the elements of Parisian society, but nowhere can effective and permanent relief be obtained; so, after the breakdown of his belief in charity, he is ravaged by the most terrific emotions and becomes a sepulcher of the three dead Christian virtues. He is now a desperate atheist, but becomes reconciled with his elder brother, Guillaume, the inventor of a new explosive which he intends to give the French government in the belief that by means of it France will introduce the reign of justice and enforce it on the nations. Guillaume thus believes only in science as the social
regenerator. With the French government in possession of a powerful enough explosive, all will be well. Pierre soon sees this, and becomes a convert to science. Under the influence of a young woman who never does or says anything that is not perfectly rational and healthy, he ceases to be a sepulcher. The young woman is Guillaume's fiancée, but he renounces her for Pierre's sake. Pierre marries her and so finds peace and joy. A happy faith in science. and a hope that through hard work justice may enter the world now possess him. As to the allegory, Pierre is Man battling with Life and Reason, but finally becoming reconciled to them. The heroine probably typifies Reason and Life, but to the plain, blunt reader, she appears rather as the Genius of Hygiene. These are queer doings for a realist, for what real man or woman ever was an allegory?
"This is the scheme of the book, and it is well suited to the author's purpose of passing all Parisian life in review, for Pierre's charitable activity takes him everywhere. He scours the slums, and, in trying to obtain relief for the oppressed classes, visits the houses of the rich bourgeoisie and of the remnants of the old noblesse; attends sessions of the Chambers of Deputies, is present at a ministerial crisis, at the Madeleine when a great Neo-Catholic prelate makes an address, at an anarchistic bomb-throwing, and at any other place where a social lesson can be learned. And the social lesson is always the same. Political life is rotten; fashionable life is a
cesspool; journalism is a sewer; charity is a sham; justice is a farce, and religion is a burlesque. And Paris being "the brain of the universe," the whole world is rickety and moribund from the variety of diseases which have fastened on its head.
"Such is the thesis of the social protagonist who wrote the famous J'accuse manifesto. The Anglo-Saxon mind cannot cope with the perplexities of the Zola trial, especially as it was represented by the blundering and disjointed reports of our newspaper correspondents, but it can form an a priori estimate of Zola's credibility and reasonableness from a study of this book."
A new book on Benjamin Franklin(*) seems almost a superfluity, considering the large number of excellent biographies already in existence. We mention only those by John Bigelow, Sparks, Parton, McMaster and Morse, and of course, the most interesting of all, Franklin's Autobiography. Yet "a composite picture of the man, showing his character and activities and briefly touching upon the national conditions which brought the latter into play," (as in his own words was the purpose of Edward Robins,) must be a welcome addition to American biographical literature; particularly if so ably accomplished as in the volume before us. It forms the first one of a new series, called American Men of Men of Energy, and it is quite befitting that Benjamin
* Benjamin Franklin. By Edward Robbin. Vol. 1 of American Men of Energy Series. 8vo. cloth. Price $1.10. By mail $1.25.
Franklin, this great example of American energy and genius should lead off this series. To all who desire to read about his life, without being obliged to dive into the larger and bulky biographies, we can recommend this book. It gives, in a moderate space, a well drawn and characteristic picture of the man and his time, is written in a fluent and attractive style and is illustrated with many reproductions of interesting contemporary portraits and pictures.
"Little Masterpieces,"(*) is the appropriate title of an excellent series of handy volumes, both in regard to their contents and to their appearance. They are dainty little volumes, prettily bound in cloth, well printed, and published at the very low price of 30 cents per volume. They form a pretty miniature library and will be appreciated as little gifts, as convenient books for traveling, and as excellent books for class-reading in schools and colleges. Containing selections from the best and most representative writings of our great American men of letters, carefully chosen and ably prefaced by Professor Bliss Perry, they will be particularly welcomed by those who have neither time nor inclination to take up large volumes and yet wish to acquaint themselves with the works of our great men and enjoy noble thought and good literature. The volumes published so far, are: Poe, Irving, Hawthorne, Webster, Franklin and Lincoln.
Little Masterpieces, Edited by Professor Bliss Perry. Volumes published: Poe - Irving--Hawthorne- Franklin Webster-Lincoln. Price per volume cioth, 18 cents. By mail 23 cents.
Another little series, published by the same firm (Doubleday & McClure Co.) uniform with the "Little Masterpieces" is the "Ladies Home Journal Library of Fiction."(1) The following two volumes have just been published in this collection: The Spirit of Sweet- Water, by Hamlin Garland, with the author's portrait in photogravure. It is a pretty Colorado love story, having for its central theme the restoration of an invalid young woman to health by the encouragement and influence of a strong-willed healthy man.
The other, A Minister of the World, by Caroline Atwater Mason, is the story of a young New England preacher, first in charge of a village parish, then head of a wealthy city congregation, and later as leader of a rescue movement in lower New York. It is illustrated with four photogravures. Both of these little volumes afford healthy and entertaining summer reading and are written in excellent style.
A new illustrated edition of Bos
well's Life of Johnson, (*) edited by Mr. Augustine Burrell, with Malone's Notes and Illustrations, and a sketch of Boswell's own life, lim
ited to 500 numbered sets, has just been published by Messrs. Croscup & Sterling Company. This is a beautiful and convenient edition of this
(1) Ladies Home Journal Library of Fiction. Volumes published:
"A Minister of the World." By Caroline Atwater Mason.
"The Spirit of Sweet Water." By Hamlin Garland. 16mo. cloth. Price per volume 18 cents. By mail 23 cents
(2) Information in regard to price, mode of publication, etc., can be obtained at Siegel-Cooper Co.'s book department, where also samples may be seen.
greatest of biographies, and "the richest dictionary of wit and wisdom any language can boast." The volumes will be of popular cabinet size, and printed by Messrs. T. & A. Constable, Edinburgh, upon a superior English wove paper, of extremely light weight. The illustrations, consisting mainly of personages and places mentioned in the text, will be full-page reproductions from the works of Sir Joshua Reynolds, Stanfield, Humphrey, and others. An interesting feature, peculiar to this edition, will be a sketch of Boswell's own life, in which a glimpse will be given of the varied career of the immortal author. The set will consist of six volumes, delivered complete, neatly boxed, and will be sold only by subscription.
A collection of William McIntosh's contributions to that spicy and interesting little magazine, The Philistine, edited by Elbert Hubbard, which, owing to its originality and intrinsic literary value, has outlived all the other little "fadizines," has
just been published in book form
under the title "Sermons from Philistine Pulpit."(*) In its very attractive and tasteful attire, printed in antique type on handmade paper, and bound in Roycroft boards, this little volume will be welcomed by all book lovers and literary gourmets. Two other charming volumes, published by the "Roycroft Printing Shop," just received, are Mr. Elbert Hubbard's collected essays under the
(*) Sermons from a Philistine Pulpit. By William McIntosh, (Doctor Phil.) 16mo. Roycroft Boards. Price 85 cents. By mail 90 cents.