Books of the Month
History and Antiquities. Charles Scribner’s Sons issue a new edition of Schliemann’s Mycenæ in a handsome volume, with maps, plans, and more than 700 illustrations. It is stated on the titlepage to have new plates and important additions over the edition of three years ago, and it is to be regretted that the exact nature of the changes and improvements should not have been pointed out in some preface to this edition. —Volume IV. of Kinglake’s The Invasion of the Crimea (Harpers) treats of The Winter Troubles of the winter of 1854-55. It is provided with a plan showing the position of the belligerents. — In Young Ireland (Appletons) the author, Sir Charles Gavan Duffy, means to give the history of the repeal movement. His narrative gathers the record of the Young Ireland party in the momentous decade of 1840-50. The author was deep in the councils of the party, and writes frankly.—The Harpers issue in good style, except that the paper scarcely does justice to the engravings, Dr. Schliemann’s Ilios: The City and Country of the Trojans, —the results of researches and discoveries on the site of Troy and throughout the Troad in the years 1871-79. The work includes also an autobiography of the author and elaborate apparatus from various sources, and is illustrated with maps, plans, and about 1800 wood-cuts.—An important work upon Scandinavian antiquities is appearing in Norway, the former half having been issued by Alb. Cammermeyer, Christiania. Its title is Norske Oldsager orknede og forklarede af O. Rygh, tegnede paa trae af C. F. Lindberg. Mr. Lindberg’s engravings of the early implements, utensils, and ornaments are admirable specimens of honest work, and the text is direct and clear. The work so far has advanced through the Stone Age, Bronze Age, and the early Iron Age. The Boston agent for the work is Mr. John Allyn.
Biography. Sunlight and Shadow is the title of an octavo volume by J. B. Gough. (Hartford: A. D. Worthington & Co.) The title-page, which, as in other subscription books, follows the old and respectable custom of announcement of contents,
describes it as “gleanings from my life work, comprising personal experiences, observations and opinions, anecdotes, incidents, and interesting reminiscences of thrilling, pathetic, and amusing scenes, gathered from thirty-seven years’ experience on the platform and among the people, at home and abroad.” It is his lecture without his voice and mimicry, and with much more expansion than the platform permits.— Mr. A. J. Symington, who has lately written biographical sketches of Lover and Moore, is the author of William Cullen Bryant, —a biographical sketch, with selections from his poems and other writings (Harpers); a book upon the general plan of English Men of Letters, although more a mosaic of contemporaneous memorials and criticism. —Certain Men of Mark : Studies of Living Celebrities, by George Makepeace Towle (Roberts), comprises sketches of English and Continental statesmen, Victor Hugo only being excepted possibly from this category. They are brisk characterizations for the general reader, rather than labored analyses of historic power. — The memoir of Governor Andrew, which Mr. Peleg W. Chandler prepared for the Massachusetts Historical Society, has been expanded by the addition of some agreeable Personal Reminiscences and two unpublished literary discourses, together with the valedictory address. (Roberts.) The subject is one which could not be buried under a two-volume octavo monument; the fullest life ought not to suppress the quick presence, and this brief sketch cannot help hinting at the large place which the great war governor holds in history. — The memoir of Emily Elizabeth Parsons, by her father, Theophilus Parsons (Little, Brown & Co.), consists almost wholly of letters written during the war, when Miss Parsons was engaged in hospital work. Her nobility of character and untiring devotion are shown admirably in her own animated and modest letters. The book is published for the benefit of the Cambridge Hospital, which she was endeavoring earnestly to establish, when she died last spring. — Ludwig Nohl’s Life of Beethoven, translated by John J. Lalor, has been published by Jansen, McClurg & Co. It is brief, and devoted rather to the meagre facts of his painful life than to an interpretation of his compositions. — The Life and Times of Goethe, by Hermann Grimm, translated by Sarah Holland Adams (Little, Brown & Co.), is rather a critical and philosophical study of Goethe than a biography, but the analysis follows a chronological order. — From Death into Life, or Twenty Years of my Ministry, by Rev. W. Haslam (Appletons), is the title of an autobiographic sketch of a clergyman of the Church of England who underwent conversion while he was a preacher. A curious comparison might be drawn between his life and that of Hawker. Both men were under like social and geographical influences. — In the Personal Life of David Livingstone (Harpers) the author. Dr.W. G. Blaikie, of Edinburgh, has attempted to show the man rather than the traveler. He has digested material already published, but has also made use of unpublished correspondence and journals in the possession of his family. It may be said that the discoveries of such a man gradually fade in the light of more perfect knowledge, but the heroism of character is the finer and more lasting possession. There is a portrait and a map. — Schiller and his Times, by Johannes Scherr, translated from the German by Elizabeth McClellan (Philadelphia: Ig. Kohler), was originally published about, twenty years ago. It aims at accounting for the artistic development of Germany through a presentation of Schiller’s life and work. — Monsieur Guizot in Private Life, by his daughter, Madame de Witt, translated by M. C. M. Simpson (Estes and Lauriat), will be welcomed for its affectionate and animated disclosure of the personality of a historic character. We would rather trust a great man’s daughter than an interviewer. — Dr. Lieber’s Miscellaneous Writings as thus far published in two volumes (Lippincotts) fall partly within this section, partly in one of Politics. We place the work here because its special interest is in the more personal acquaintance which it permits with a man who was more American than many Americans, and whose work bestowed upon the larger themes of history and politics never obscured the fresh, hopeful, and helpful man. About half of the first volume is occupied with his personal reminiscences and a biographical address by Judge Thayer. There follow academic discourses and contributions to political science. The work is edited by President Gilman.
Holiday Books. The Teacher’s Dream, by W. H. Venable. (Putnams.) To the artist, H. F. Faniy, must be given the credit for all the interest which the book possesses, and that is mainly on the score of ingenuity of pictorial comment, and of the struggle of occasional beauty with a perverse style. —The Wooing of the Water-Witch, by Evan Daldorne, illustrated by J. Moyr Smith (Holt), follows The Prince of Argolis, treated in a similar fashion, by the same artist. It is called a northern oddity, and is an ingenious piece of fooling. The illustrations are half burlesque, half serious, and the whole is a scholar’s conceit. We leave it to others to extricate Beaconsfield from the story; he is well secured in the illustrations. — Clarence Cook’s The House Beautiful (Scribners) appears in a new edition, having a less luxurious external appearance than the original, but to our mind one even more attractive. It remains a fascinating collection of hints to the man or woman who wishes to live and be an object of envy to his less ingenious and less artistic neighbor.— The lovely story of Aucassin and Nicolette appears in a pretty form, translated by A. Rodney Macdonough from the modern French version of Alexandre Bida. It should not be left as an obsolete holiday book. — Scribner & Co. have issued a second series of Proofs from Scribner’s Monthly and St-Nicholas. The change from a bound volume to portfolio form has its advantages, and the exceeding skill and frequent charm of these plates will render the collection always valuable.—The illustrated papers which Mr. W. H. Gibson has been contributing to Harper’s Monthly have been gathered into an elegant volume, with the title Pastoral Days, or Memories of a New England Year. (Harpers.) The grace and sweetness of the pictures and the pensive gentleness of the text cloy the palate a little, but there are too many attractions in the book to let it be easily laid aside.
Books for Young People. G. P. Putnam’s Sons issue a neat edition in two volumes of Mrs. Alfred Gatty’s Parables from Nature. Mrs. Gatty does for the taste of this generation what Mrs. Barbauld did for an earlier; the difference is largely in style; Mrs. Gatty is not so sonorous, nor is she always as simple in thought.— The late Mr. Kingston wrote a number of books for boys, but none more crowded with adventure than one of his latest, Dick Cheveley, his adventures and misadventures (Lippincotts), in which the prolonged spectacle of a stowaway eating rats in a ship’s hold is anything but agreeable. The book professes to be a warning against the traditional running away to sea, but as the hero turned out well most boys will expect to miss his perils and enjoy his successes.— The Moral Pirates, by W. L. Alden (Harpers), gives an entertaining account of a boys’ boating excursion up the Hudson. It reads as if the author had reluctantly subdued the sensational element. —Clover Beach, by Margaret Vandegrift (Porter and Coates), is a pleasing story, which struggles more or less successfully with an abundant supply of pictures; the necessity of working these in gives a somewhat distracted air to the story, and as most of the pictures contain figures a very critical child might be puzzled to account for discrepancies, arising from the pictures being originally intended for several other books. — A Strong Arm and a Mother’s Blessing (Lee and Shepard) is the latest of Mr. Elijah Kellogg’s books for boys, —a writer who is severely honest, and has done good work in telling over and over again the manly story of difficulties overcome in the stern New England life of the early part of this century. This book will be called old-fashioned by some, and it lacks literary grace. but its old-fashion is of the rugged and homely sort. — Zig-Zag Journeys in Classic Lands, by Hezekiah Butterworth (Estes and Lauriat), carries a party of young people into Italy, Greece, Spain, Sicily, and Southern France. It is abundantly illustrated. — The Young Folks’ Cyelopædia of Common Things, (Holt) by J. D. Champlin, which we cordially praised last season, is followed now by the same editor’s Young Folks’ Cyclopædia of Persons and Places. It deals with living persons as well. It is a pity to have given such inferior portraits. — The veteran B. J. Lossing has prepared The Story of the United States Navy, for Boys. (Harpers.) The larger part of the book is necessarily occupied with the events of the war of 1812; as that war recedes the heroism of the navy becomes the most rememberable part.— A Bad Boy’s Diary (New York: J. S. Ogilvie) is to be named only as a warning to writers and readers. One might look at it to see how much silly misspelling has increased the ill-manners of the book. — Although not professedly a book for the young, Friends Worth Knowing, by Ernest Ingersoll (Harpers), may be commended as an agreeable account, sure to interest boys and girls, of the manners and customs, so to speak, of many native birds, beasts, and insects. It is a pretty book, prettily illustrated.—Five Mice in a Mousetrap by the Man in the Moon, by Laura E. Richards (Estes and Lauriat), is children’s nonsense run mad. There are some good pictures, which are wasted on a book which is no more literature for children than a kaleidoscope is art.
Education. To Mr. Hudson’s new school Shakespeare (Ginn and Heath) have been added A Winter’s Tale, King John, and Twelfth Night; the suggestions to teachers prefixed to As You Like It are repeated in the last two of these volumes. — The Orthoepist, by Alfred Ayres (Appletons), is a pronouncing manual, containing “about three thousand five hundred words, including a considerable number of the names of foreign authors, artists, etc., that are often mispronounced.” — The Report of the Commissioner of Education for the Year 1878 has been received from the Department of the Interior, Washington. It is a digest of the various local and state reports.— Harrington’s A Graded Spelling-Book (Harpers) is a new venture, which departs from the old lines, regards spelling as connected rather with writing than with reading, and gives words in the order in which they are likely to be used by a child rather than in the order of size or sound.
Literature. To the well-known collection of Little Classics, Houghton, Mifflin & Co. have added two volumes: Nature, with chapters from Warner, Hamerton, Burroughs, Thoreau, Hawthorne, and others, and Humanity, which takes in both familiar and unfamiliar papers by C. W. Stoddard, Dickens, Ludlow, Thackeray, Mrs. Jameson, and Mallock. — Mrs. E. H. Arr would have us take Old Time Child Life (Lippincotts) as a book for children, but she herself expresses a doubt if it will not be more acceptable to older persons. It is an affectionate lingering over scenes in a New England country village, but the characters and incidents are only slightly sketched; it will rather please those who have similar recollections than give a stranger very graphic views of New England.
Poetry and the Drama. Verses, by Susan Coolidge (Roberts), wins favor at once by its pretty dress of vellum-like cloth, gold stamp, and tasteful lettering. — Country Love and City Life and other Poems, by C. H. St. John (Williams), represent the rhvmings of a writer who has less interest in his art than in the story which he has to tell, the moral he would point. His own estimate of his work is modest, and his book does not err in attempting the impossible in poetry. — Shakespeare’s Dream and other Poems (Lippincotts) is by William Leighton, whose The Sons of Godwin will be recalled. In the dream the inventions of Shakespeare pass before his mind as objective visions. With Shakespearean material the author has reconstructed the forms in new relations. — Four o’Clocks is the somewhat enigmatical title of a volume of .short poems by Helen Barron Bostwick. (Philadelphia; Claxton.) — Onti Ora, a Metrical Romance, by Mrs. M. B. M. Toland (Lippincotts), gains its name from the Indian title of the Catskills, where the scene of the story is in part laid. The book is illustrated by W. L. Sheppard. — Lord Stirling’s Stand and other Poems, by W. H. Babcock (Lippincotts), contains all that the author wishes to preserve of his poems. The preface has a curious passage. Recalling the first poem which he had written, not included in the book, the author says, “ There were just twelve lines in all, of which I give the final four: —
And may no secession stand
Before our country’s power
And God’s own avenging hand.
The others were unmitigated doggerel.” The italics are our own.— A third series of Our Poetical Favorites by A. C. Kendrick (Osgoods), has been published. Like the previous volumes, it selects from the best minor poems of the English language, and has special reference to very recent writers and to humorous poetry. Over three hundred poems are given, and a hundred and seventy authors are represented, — A new edition of Mr. R. W. Gilder’s The New Day (Scribners) has been issued, showing even greater care and felicity in its dress. — Those who wish to take their history in a rhymed form will be interested in The Rhyme of the Border War; a historical poem of the Kansas-Missouri guerrilla war, before and during the late rebellion, the principal character being the famous guerrilla, Charles William Quantrell. By Thomas Brower Peacock. (Carleton.) — The Knight of the Lily, by Philip May (Brooklyn ; Rome Brothers), is a short poem, and apparently an early effort.—All Round the Year is the title of a volume of poems by Elaine and Dora Goodale. (Putnams.) The same charm is in them as in the earlier poems. It is pleasant, too, to count the writings of these authors no longer as the work of children. —Professor J. Stuart Blackie’s second edition of his translation into English verse of Goethe’s Faust (Macmillan) follows the first at an interval of forty years. The translator has revised and partly rewritten his youthful work, but adheres to the same general spirit of giving a poetical English version rather than a studiously careful translation.—Echoes of Half a Century is a volume of poems by William Pitt Palmer (Putnams), which the author holds lightly as the playthings of a busy life.— Under the initials C. K. T. upon the title-page of Miscellaneous Poems (London: Moxon, Saunders & Co.), readers on this side of the Atlantic will rightly guess the name of the minister to Greece. —Wayside Flowers is a collection of short poems by S. C. (Lippincotts.)— The Crimson Hand and other Poems, by Rosa Vertner Jeffrey (Lippincotts), can scarcely contain more entertainment for the reader than is found in one of its poems, The Phantom Ball, of which we quote one verse, disclosing the spectacle when the bubble had burst:
With a thrill of horror noting his silk-stockinged
limbs were lost;
Lafayette’s head disappearing left his shapely legs
And I dreaded the misfitting of somebody’s glorious
— Thus far ten volumes, one half of the promised set, have appeared of Mr. Hudson’s edition of Shakespeare called the Harvard Edition. (Ginn and Heath.) We have recorded mention of his school edition;this is substantially the same, except that certain introductions appropriate to that have been omitted, and others appropriate to this have been used. The form of this series is better for the library and very agreeable to hand and eye. It is a desirable thing to have in so comely a shape an edition of Shakespeare from the hands of an editor who is rather eager to have people read his poet than attend to his annotator. He has whips for fools’ backs, but only encouragement for the sinoere seeker.
Philosophy, Theology, and Religion. Mr. J. S. Kedney in The Beautiful and the Sublime (Putnams) gives an analysis of these emotions and determines the objectivity of beauty. His thought is clear, but his expression is often awkward when intelligible.— A Minister’s Lectures on Woman’s Sphere and Opportunities is properly to be classed under religion, and Rev. R. Heber Newton’s Womanhood (Putnams) is a serious, sensible, and direct treatment of the subject. Mr. Newton’s book is the broader in its scope for its constant reference to great authorities in philosophy and literature. Yet it is to be regretted that he should not have used Shakespeare in larger proportion to othor poets. — Club Essays, by David Swing (Chicago: Jansen, MeClurg & Co.), takes its name, from the fact that the five papers comprising the book were given before the Chicago Literary Club. They are the literary exercises of a man of rel igious thought, who seeks play for his mind and imagination in large historical and social themes. — From Mrs. Angeline Hofer, of Oberlin, Ohio, comes A Message by Angels to the Hebrew Prophet Daniel: Scripture Prophecy Fulfilled. Mrs. Hofer advises us that it was communicated by inspiration in the year 1871.—Studies in the Mountain Instruction, by George Dana Boardman (Appletons), is an amplification of the Sermon on the Mount. It has many fresh and suggestive passages, but does not sufficiently emphasize the fact that the discourse is the Magna Charta of Christianity, and that in form it is really elaborate as nothing else in the Gospels is, having marked groups of phrase and a logic of construction. An important point is missed when the author misplaces the accent in the words “I say unto you,”—Mrs. John T. Sargent has edited a volume of Sketches and Reminiscences of the Radical Club of Chestnut Street, Boston (Osgoods)—a club which has had local repute for a dozen years, and has given opportunity for the first presentation of many topics afterward treated at greater length before the general public. As a sort of spiritual Bourse the club has had a life which renders a record of interest to students of current opinion.
Fiction. The Leisure Hour Series has adopted a new and more useful cloth binding, retaining some of the characteristics of the dress which has become familiar to the public. The first issue in this style is A Dreamer, by Katharine Wylde. (Holt.) —Recent numbers of the Franklin Square Library (Harpers) are A Confidential Agent, by James Payn; Horace McLean, a story of a search in a strange place, by Alice O’Hanlon, which opens with an amusing guess at local appearances in Boston; From the Wings, by B. H. Buxton; and He that Will not when He May, by Mrs. Oliphant. —Another of Henry Gréville’s Russian stories has appeared, The Trials of Raissa, translated by Mrs. Sherwood (Petersons). — Beaconsfield’s Endymion is published both by Appletons in cloth and paper, and by Harpers in the Franklin Square Library. It is not likely to excite the interest which Lothair created, for it deals rather with obsolete issues, and its author has in a measure satisfied the world’s curiosity since Lothair appeared.— The Head of Medusa (Roberts) is the title of a new novel by the author of Kismet and Mirage.—Mr. James’s Washington Square has been completed in Harper’s Magazine, and issued anew by the Harpers in a volume, illustrated, the title-page says, by George Du Maurier. — Bohemian Days is the title of a volume of three American Tales in prose, with lyrical epilogues, by George Alfred Townsend, and published by the author in New York.— Thomas Hardy’s latest novel, The Trumpet Major, has been included in Holt’s Leisure Hour Series. — Nestlenook, by Leonard Kip, is the latest addition to the Knickerbocker novels. (Putnams.) —Little Amy’s Christmas, by Wilson J. Vance (American News Company), is the work of a sincere but somewhat unskillful writer.
— T. B. Peterson and Brothers have reprinted My Hero, by Mrs. Forrester, author of Diana Carew. — The Tempter Behind, by John Saunders (Lohrops) is a sensational story under the sanction of a religious purpose. — As Thyself, by Sue W. Hubbard (Lippincotts), may perhaps be classed with the last named: that was a book for a drunkard, this for a crazy man.
Geography and Travel. A contribution to history and geography of much interest and novelty will be found in Moslem Egypt and Christian Abyssinia; or Military Service under the Khedive in his Provinces and beyond their Borders, as experienced by the American Staff. By William McE. Dye. (New York; Atkin and Prout, printers.) Mr. Dye, formerly of the United States Army, was late colonel of the Egyptian staff, and one of the Americans who have taken part in the singular reënforeement of Egypt by America. — An impartial and thoughtful report by a good observer is Mr. James H. Tuke’s A Visit to Donegal and Connaught in the Spring of 1880. (London: AY. Ridgway.) Mr. Take brings to his labor long familiarity with Ireland and a special acquaintance with the famine district in 1846-47. — Wandering Thoughts and Wandering Steps, by a Philadelphia Lady (Lippincotts), covers the ordinary track of European travel; it is written in a kindly spirit by a charitable sight-seer. — In Appletons' New Handy Volume Series Mr. Charles Warren Stoddard publishes Mashallah ! A Flight into Egypt. The little volume consists of letters written in 1876. The traveler had been well prepared for a Nile journey by his Voyaging in Southern Seas. — Where to go in Florida, by Daniel F. Tyler (New York; Hopcraft & Co.), is a pamphlet giving the results of the writer’s experience, with special reference to a spot where he has himself settled.
Art. A manual has just been published by Dickson, Philadelphia, entitled How to Draw and Paint, containing instructions in outline, light and shade, perspective, sketching from nature, figure drawing, artistic anatomy, landscape, marine, and portrait painting, the principles of coloring applied to painting, etc., etc.
Folk-Lore. Uncle Remus, his Songs and his Sayings, by Joel Chandler Harris (Appletons) is not the first attempt to preserve the peculiar stories current on Southern plantations, but all that have preceded it have been fragmentary and episodical The fleld is not a very wide one, but it has great interest, and this contribution is well worth attention.
Music. A selection of Franz’s songs, under the title Album of Songs, Old and New, by Robert Franz, has been published by Oliver Ditson & Co. Both German and English words are given, the translation of recent songs being by Miss Frothingham and Rev. C. T. Brooks. A lithographic portrait faces the title-page. —The same publishers have issued a most desirable volume of songs for children, under the title of A Book of Rhymes and Tunes, compiled and arranged by Margaret Pearmain Osgood; translation by Louisa T. Craigin. German composers furnish most of the melodies, but there are French and English melodies, and English Christmas Carols. The book is executed with unfailing good taste. Didactic Literature. On the Threshold is the title of a volume of essays by Theodore T. Munger (Houghton, Mifflin & Co.), having special reference to the conduct of life among young men. The manliness of tone, the freshness and admirable wisdom of the book, will commend it even to young men, and readers will discover on how large a conception of life the author has built his advice.
— Duty, with illustrations of courage, patience, and endurance, by Samuel Smiles (Harpers), is an anecdotical and suggestive book, after the wellknown manner of this popular writer. The same book is published in the Franklin Square Library.
— In this class may be named the seven homilies on The Lord’s Prayer, by Rev. Washington Gladden (Houghton, Mifflin & Co), a book direct, practical, and free from a professional character.
Medicine. Diphtheria, Its Cause, Nature, and Treatment, by Rollin R. Gregg, M. D. (Buffalo: Matthews Brothers and Bryant). This little treatise gives the experience and judgment of a physician of the Hahnemann school. — Dr. Daniel B. St. John Roosa has collected his occasional half-professional, half-general papers into a volume, A Doctor’s Suggestions to the Community. (Putnams.) The papers are free from technical treatment, and are such contributions as a doctor might give, for instance, to his club, if that were made up of laymen. A large public is interested in the topics discussed. — Dr. Gonzalvo C. Smythe in Medical Heresies (Blakiston) gives a series of critical essays on the origin and evolution of seotarian medicine, embracing a special sketch and review of homœopathy, past and present, —a title which certainly implies a true church in medicine.
— Food for the Invalid, the Convalescent, the Dyspeptic, and the Gouty is a handy volume of recipes, by Dr. Horatio C. Wood, with introduction by Dr. Fothergill, of Edinburgh, who suggested the work. (Macmillans.) — Dr. George M. Beard publishes a second and revised edition of his A Practical Treatise on Nervous Exhaustion (Neurasthenia), its Symptoms, Nature, Sequences, Treatment. (Wood.)
Business Literature. A Brief Synopsis of the Collection Laws of the United States and Canada has been compiled under the direction of Douglass and Minton, attorneys of the law and collection department of the mercantile agency of Dun, Wyman & Co. (Appletons.) The work is arranged in the form of a catechism.
Bibliography. The Publishers’ Trade List Annual for 1880 (Leypoldt) reminds us that for eight years its indomitable editor and publisher has fought against the inertia of the book-trade, and has won a success which is now every one’s advantage. In the unorganized condition of bookpublishing in this country labors like these of Mr. Leypoldt are simply invaluable. In this stout octavo are bound, with few exceptions, the lists of publications of all the publishers in the country.