Men of the Time; A Dictionary of Contemporaries, Containing Biographical Notices of Eminent Characters of Both Sexes
Seventh edition, revised and brought down to the Present Time. London and New York : George Routledge and Sons.
THE men of our time, or the eminent characters of both sexes who happened to be born in the kingdoms of Great Britain and Ireland, enjoy very important privileges in this book, which is wrong in nothing so much as in being too generously named. For example, we infer from it that, while Mr. Leighton is a man of our time, M. Couture has not the advantage of being a contemporary; Miss Catharine Marsh, who wrote “ English Hearts and English Hands,” is an eminent living character, but Mr. George P. Marsh is not; Westmacott is a distinguished sculptor, but Mr. William Story has not yet come to the editor’s notice; the editor knows all about that eminent literary man, Mr. Shirley Brooks, but he has never heard of Mr. James Parton.
Omissions like these, however, though very noticeable, are not characteristic of the book, which is one of the most difficult to make, and the most vulnerable to the faultfinder. It will serve a very good use, which it might serve better ; but, remembering that it is intended for another public than ours, and a public peculiarly incurious concerning any greatness but its own, perhaps we ought rather to compliment the editor upon his success in discovering so many Continental and American celebrities among Men of the Time, than blame him for not knowing them all.