Page images
[graphic][merged small][subsumed][ocr errors][subsumed][subsumed][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small]



The Riverside Press


Will contain two articles of great interest and timeliness,
Arbitration and our Relations with England,
By Hon. E. J. Phelps, ex-Minister to England, and
Some Disappointments of Democracy,

Apropos of Mr. Lecky's newly published" Democracy and Liberty," by E. L. Godkin, editor of The Nation.

The fourth paper on Race Characteristics in American Life

·will discuss

The Germans and the German-Americans.

There will be further installments of

The Old Things, by Henry James,

Letters of D. G. Rossetti, by George Birkbeck Hill,
The Country of the Pointed Firs, by Sarah Orne Jewett,
A continuation of the delightful sketches of Maine life, which
have appeared in previous issues under the same title.

The Atlantic is taking up

The Whole Subject of the Public Schools,

And the Practical Problems Presented by Them,

and is discussing them with first-hand information, in the way most directly helpful to the public and the teacher. In this number will appear

The Confessions of Public School Teachers,

in which a number of superintendents, principals, and teachers, men and women, in different parts of the country, frankly tell their hindrances and disappointments, as well as their satisfactions, and point out the lessons of their own experience.

This group of confessions throws a direct and most instructive light on the actual work of schools and on the teachers' life.

The practical problems of public school work, the duty of the community, the methods of developing and strengthening the force of the teachers, will be discussed for the rest of the year.

Thirty-five cents a copy.

$4.00 a year.


11 East 17th Street, New York

Literary Bulletin of New Books

JUNE, 1896




The Autocrat.

EW books of this season will receive or deserve the generous appreciation already shown toward Mr. Morse's Life and Letters of Oliver Wendell Holmes. From the exceedingly liberal notices we take a few paragraphs. The New York Tribune says: "He has reproduced the Autocrat's personal traits with remarkable patience and vividness; he has been exceedingly ingenious in his copious quotations from his subject's works, and the letters which he has scattered generously through the comely volumes are alone gifts for which the public must be grateful. They coruscate with wit and with puns, with kindly appreciation of others, with humor as exquisite and tender as any which epistolary literature has had to show since the days of Lamb. . . . In this study the spirit of the man, his personality, are constantly present, and all the letters which Mr. Morse reproduces are colored by the charm which was greater than all his criticism, all his wisdom, all his understanding and wit."

The Cleveland Plain-Dealer remarks: "It is not so much a story of a life that Mr. Morse gives us as a more intimate knowledge of the man. In his pages we see Oliver Wendell Holmes as he was, and know that the multitude who formed their opinion of him through his writings alone were not mistaken in their judgment, nor was their affection misplaced. In personal life as on the printed page he was the genial, sunny-dispositioned, tender-hearted, wise and witty companion and faithful friend. In the thousands of homes where the books of Oliver Wendell Holmes are read and reread his Life and Letters' should find a hearty welcome and permanent place. . . . There is temptation on every page to make use of a paragraph, a sentence from a letter, or one of the many anecdotes illustrating the wit, humor, or shrewd wisdom of the doctor."

The Boston Journal says: "Mr. Morse has written not only a very interesting, accurate, indeed fascinating, description of the life and character of his friend, but also has given to the work just those same light, familiar touches for which Dr. Holmes was noted in his own writings."

The New York Herald pronounces this "one of the really important books of the season, if not indeed the most important."

The Life of Bulfinch, the Architect.

A book containing elements of unusual interest is The Life and Letters of Charles Bulfinch, Architect, with other family papers, edited by his granddaughter, Ellen Susan Bulfinch. Aside from the interest which attaches to it as the biography of a man who was for many years a selectman of the town of Boston and one of its wisest and most public-spirited citizens, it challenges attention just now as the life of the illustrious arch:tect who designed the Massachusetts State House, the proposed destruction of which has caused such a storm of protest. Bulfinch was the architect of the National Capitol from 1817 to 1830, and many of the finest buildings in Massachusetts during the first half of this century were designed by him. The book contains a biography sufficiently full, and is rendered peculiarly valuable and interesting by five portraits, two of Bulfinch, and one each of his mother, wife, and son; by eight full-page illustrations of his most notable designs, including the Massachusetts State House (one outside view and three interiors), the Massachusetts General Hospital, and others; and by head and tail pieces representing various designs by him. Altogether it is a very handsome book, and a worthy memorial of one of America's most famous architects.

A Novel of Remarkable Vitality.

Mr. Hopkinson Smith's story, Tom Grogan, has already reached the tenth thousand. There have been a very few unfavorable criticisms, but none which intimated that it was weak or uninteresting. All critics pronounce it vigorous and remarkably readable. The Outlook says: "Mr. Hopkinson Smith's latest story, Tom Grogan,' is distinctly the strongest piece of work which has come from his hand. . . . It is a study of local life under exciting conditions, a chapter torn from the history of the labor agitation and the industrial revolution. The writer's interest centres, not in the revolution or the agitation, but in the plucky, very human woman who admi rably fulfills the duty of the heroine, and in the group of men with whom she contends and whose plots and antagonism she successfully meets. . . . The peculiar quality of the story is its vitality, its first-hand portraiture of life. The men and women who figure in the tale are drawn with a few vigorous and sharply defined strokes. Every one is clearly realized and stands out before the reader without any wavering or uncertainty of outline. As for Tom herself, it must be frankly conceded that, whatever view one may take of labor unions and walking delegates, she has won the hearts of all her readers, and their sympathies as well. She is both brave and real. She not only might have happened, but she actually did happen. It is such portraiture that makes literature."

The Boston Beacon pronounces it "a story that will win many readers, because of its rich yet delicate humor, its wholesome sentiment, its fearlessness in the way in which it grapples with the responsibilities of employer and employed, and above all because in its heroine it reveals with perfect success a personality in many ways entirely new to fiction. It is a thor

oughly American story, - American, not only in scene and character, but in quality and manner of treatment."

The Cincinnati Commercial Gazette remarks: "Tom Grogan is a distinct personality in the world of letters. It is a great thing to have created

such a character."

A Valuable and Charming Book.

The Scottish Review for April contains a very favorable notice of Dr. Harris's book on Moral Evolution. Among other things it says: "It is necessary to read every line of the volume to form anything like an adequate conception of its value as an exposition of evolutionized ethics. This argument is about as compact as it could well be, and is expressed in a clear, crisp, and often in an almost aphoristic form. From a literary point of view the book is charming, and as a philosophy of history is extremely valuable. Dr. Harris has read widely and thought deeply on the interesting problems he has here discussed, and has the happy gift of imparting the results of his study in a style that is in itself a fascination. The chapter on Christianity and Evolution, the climax of the argument, is one that will be turned to from its very title by all who get possession of the book, but will itself be sufficient reward for the whole cost of it."

A Book of an Epoch.

Speaking of Miss Phelps's great story, A Singular Life, the Union Signal remarks: "The book may be said to be related to the moral warfare of to-day as 'Uncle Tom's Cabin' was to the slave era. Moral and spiritual lessons crowd every chapter; tears and laughter follow each other upon the pages; character-studies, strong and individual, offset each other; climax follows climax; brave, beautiful, tender womanhood, chivalrous, consecrated, intense manhood, lives overborne by temptation, great souls bound by chains of dogma, move in and out of the story, weaving a chain of circumstance thrilling, passionate, powerful."

The Christian World, of London, speaks in exceedingly strong terms of this story. Among other things it says: "Miss Phelps's book is one which men and women will be better for reading. The very heart of life, pure and true, passionate and strong, pulses in it, and to that heart of life no one can approach save with reverent footsteps. Every line in the book is worth reading. Miss Phelps is satisfied with nothing less than the best — in life, in love, and in religion."

A Charming Novel for Summer Reading.

The Brooklyn Eagle, after alluding to Mr. Stimson's long silence, says of his latest novel: "The new story is delightful reading. One feels that it pays a writer to keep silent for a while, if the fruition shall be so excellent a thing as Pirate Gold. There is a crisp quality about this book that reminds one of the free air of the coast. . . . When a story is so vivid and interesting that you unconsciously create an atmosphere for it you have proof that

« PreviousContinue »