Books of the Month
Biography. The Life and Letters of John Howard Raymond, whose name is closely connected with Vassar College, of which he was the first president, has been prepared by his eldest daughter. (Fords, Howard & Hulbert.) The last third of the book contains the account of his life at Vassar, but the previous years had been mainly given to education. — Mr. Moses King, the publisher of the Harvard Register, has collected in a neat pamphlet
several tributes to the memory of Professor Benjamin Pierce.—Rev. Dr. Abel Stevens, who has been for some time recruiting in Switzerland, has employed his leisure well in preparing Madame de Staë, a Study of her Life and Times, The First Revolution and the First Empire, in two volumes. (Harpers.) He has had the advantage of working in the midst of Madame de Staël’s associations, and his book is encyclopaedic in its fullness. — A second volume of Anecdotes of Public Men has been prepared by Mr. John W. Forney. ( Harpers.) Mr. Forney’s long connection with public affairs has given him the opportunity of seeing and hearing many things. It belongs to every man, with or without opportunity, to see with his own eyes and hear with his own ears. The real tiling is to have the proper sort of eyes and ears.
Fiction. Gustave Flaubert’s Madame Bovary (Petersons) enjoys the singular praise in the translator’s preface: “ The work is not immoral in its tendencies, nor detrimental to the morals of its readers.” The work needs all the moral support it can get. — The Lost Casket, translated by S. Lee from F. de Boisgobey (Putnams), is the latest issue in the series of transatlantic novels. — Prince Fortune and Prince Fatal is the title of a three-volume novel by Mrs, Carrington. (London: Sampson Low & Co.)—The latest issues in the Franklin Square Library (Harpers) are The Posy Ring, by Mrs. Alfred W. Hunt, Better than Good, a story for girls, by Annie E. Ridliey, and Asphodel, by Miss Braddon.—The Steam House is an invention of Jules Verne’s, which we will whisper to the reader was a mechanical elephant, and the first part of the extravagance under this name. The Demon of Cawnpore, translated by A. D. Kingston, has been reprinted by Scribners. — In the No Name Series (Roberts), the latest issue is Don John; the authorship by Jean Ingelow was announced in England about the same time that the publishers here were beginning to excite the curiosity of readers.—Lenox Dare is the title of a novel by Virginia F. Townsend. (Lee & Shepard.)— The Black Venus, a tale of the Dark Continent, is translated and adapted from the French of Adolphe Belot by George D. Cox. (Petersons.) She was as terrible as she was black. — Mr. Black’s new novel. Sunrise, a Story of these Times, has been added to Harper’s list.
History and Antiquities. Mr. Gustave Masson, a competent workman, has prepared an abridgment of Gtuzot’s Popular History of France, under the title of Outlines of the History of France from the Earliest Times to the Outbreak of the Revolution, reprinted here by Estes & Lauriat. It has some of the illustrations from Guizot, and convenient apparatus of chronological and other tables, and sources of historical study.—Mr. Anthony Trollope has written the Life of Cicero, in two volumes (Harpers), and makes no secret of lijs admiration; lie desires to restore to him honors which he thinks the critics have one by one taken from him. — The History of Saint Augustine, Florida, by William W. Dewhurst (Putnams), is a summary of the full narratives of the, early Spanish and French settlements in Florida relating to this interesting old town. The concluding chapters touch upon its fortune since it became a part of United States territory, and notice briefly its claims as a health resort.— Mr. Henry Coppée has taken a fresh and very attractive topic for his History of the Conquest of Spain by the Arab-Moors, in two volumes. (Little, Brown & Co.) His interest in the subject, has been that of all intelligent students, so that he has made the history a study of the civilization which under their influence became a part of European history.—The fourth volume of Mr. George Punchard’s History of Congregationalism (Congregational Publishing Society)follows the previous ones at a long interval. It begins the narrative of Congregationalism in America, and the completion is promised in the volume to follow. Mr. Punchard has died since the work was ready for the printer, and his work remains as a monument of patient, persevering, and faithful toil, built under many disadvantages. — The first volume is published of a History of the United States of America under the Constitution. By James Schouler. (Washington: W. H. & O. H. Morrison.) ft covers tire period of 1784-1801, and is strictly a political history. —Those readers who draw back from Alison and Russell will look with more satisfaction upon a History of Modern Europe, by C. A. Fyffe, M. A., the first volume of which, from the outbreak of the Revolutionary War in 1792 to the accession of Louis XVIII. in 1814, has just been published by Holt. The making of the map of modern Europe is the theme of the history, which will be completed in two more volumes* —A History of Greece from the Earliest Times to the Present, by T. T. Timayenis, in two volumes (Applet,ons), has a special interest from its conception of an unbroken nationality, though the period after the fall of Constantinople is treated as briefly as the reader’s interest will demand.
Criticism. Mrs. A. S. Richardson’s Familiar Talks on English Literature (Chicago: Jansen, McClurg & Co.) is a thoroughly sensible book. Mrs. Richardson gives a manual of literature which is indifferent to the trivial personalities of the writers who make English literature, but alive to the work which they have done. In a word, it is an almost affectionate and eager introduction of young people to the great course of English literature down to Walter Scott. — The latest volume in the series of Foreign Classics for English Reach rs (Lippineott) is Cervantes, by Mrs. Oliphant, an admirable subject, it is agreeable to see with how true sympathy Mrs. Oliphant apprehends Cervantes’s conception of Don Quixote. — Robert Oppenheim, Berlin, sends ns the: fifth volume of Karl Hillcbrand’s Zciter. Völke, und Menschen, entitled Aus dem Jahrlmmlert der Revolution. — The first American from the third English edition of Edward Dowdcu’s Sbakspere, a critical study of his mind and art., has been issued by Harpers. Mr. Dowden is one of the freshest of introducers to Shakespeare, and one of the most rational. How he comes by his occasional affectations is difficult to say.
Poetry and the Drama. The versatile John Stuart Blackie, of Edinburgh, has issued a second and revised edition of his Lays and Legends of Ancient Greece (Edinburgh: Blackwood), the revision consisting of the exclusion of what, in the previous edition, did not properly come under the title. — Poems, by Robert K. Weeks (Holt), is a collection into one volume of the most significant of the author’s work, originally presented at intervals, in three volumes. Both the promise and performaneeof the writer have endeared him to many readers. — Bernice, by J. H. Pearce (London: Charing Cross publishing Company), is called by its author a Tragic Triology. The scene is laid in pseudonymous lands, and the author confesses that he had some thought of creating a new language for his characters. He should be content with the manufacture of triology, and with the introduction in a scene of such rests as “ a long delicious silence,” which follows a very osculatory passage. — Tragi!units of Essays, and other verses, is printed for the author, C. A. Buskirk. by W. H. Evans, of Princeton, Indiana. It is a pamphlet collection of snatches of satire, fable, and lyrical pieces. — The Hermit Minstrel, and other Poems, by Alfred and Felix Ellison, lias fifty pages of verse, and is printed in Anderson, Indiana. — The Origin of the Building of Solomon’s Temple, an Oriental Tradition, by John Barnard (Boston: Howard Gannett), is a versified legend, with notes, which lias a half Sunday-school connection with the obelisk. — Tlie Vision of Nimrod, by Charles DeKay (Appletons), is a series of symbolic poems held together by the author’s thought.
Geography and Travel. The Isles of Summer or Nassau and the Bahamas, is the record of a so journ, by Charles Ives, of New Haven, who also publishes the book. Besides the account of his life there, there is considerable sentiment and loose writing.
Politics. Mr. Terence McGrath’s Pictures from Ireland (Holt’s Leisure Hour Series) is a bundle of familiar sketches of the various typical persons involved in the current struggle. His sympathies appear to be mainly with tlie Protestant landlord.
— A subject nearer home is found in H. H’s A Century of Dishonor: A Sketch of the United States Government’s Dealings with some of the Indian Tribes. (Harpers.) A Preface by Bishop Whipple, and an Introduction by President See lye, of Amherst, are in accord with the spirit of the book, which is an appeal to the Christian principle. It would be worth the reader’s white to examine with this book an able paper by Mr. Canfield, in a recent number of the American Law Review, treating of the legal aspects of the Indian question. — Chinese Immigration, by Geo. TSeward (Scribners), is treated under its social and economical aspects, but tlie questions regarding it are largely political. The volume is very timely, and it would lie well if legislators, and all others disposed to discuss the Chinese question, were, either willingly or under compulsion, to read the book before advancing any further views.— The Civil Service Reform Association, with its head-quarters in New York, has issued the first of its publications in a pamphlet, defining the purposes of the organization.
Fine Arts. The choiceness of the mechanical execution and the high character of M. Lalange’s etchings in illustration lead us to place in this section the new edition of Don Quixote, by Paterson, of Edinburgh, of which the first two volumes have appeared, and are imported here by Mr. Bouton in New York, The translation is by Motteux, and the edition is quite preferable to Jarvis’s, the most accessible of the illustrated editions. The external charm of the book ought to persuade new readers to this humorous classic. —Gleanings in the Fields of Art, by Ednab D. Cheney (Lee & Shepard). consists of a.collection of essays, general and particular, ranging from art to a running sketch of American painters and their works. It is the book rather of an amateur than of a professed critic. — Mr. Bouton sends Les Pensionnaires du Louvre, by Louis Leroy, which is especially interesting for the amusing and vigorous character sketches, by Paul Renouard, a work which we believe has been appearing in L’Art. All possible variations of the young and old women who copy pictures seem here to be presented.—The same agent sends the first three parts in folio of La Renaissance en France, by Leon Palustre. the illustrations under direction of Eugene Sadoux, the publishers being A. Quantin & Co., of Paris. The entire work is to be completed in thirty parts, arranged geographically. Those already issued constitute a section by themselves, under the sobtitle of La Renaissance dans le Nurd et dans T Isle do France. The illustrations are etchings, printed sometimes with the text, sometimes as separate plates. The subjects are architectural and monumental, and the entire work promises to be of a high order. The price of the parts is marked at twenty-five francs each.—The same publishers send through Mr. Bouton a portfolio of Dessiusde Decoration des Prineipaux Madras, containing forty plates; some of the artists represented are Delacroix, Le Brun, Huet, Poussin, Regnier. The text is by E. Chesneau, and the illustrations under the care of Ed. Guichard. The selection is exceedingly interesting, and one may approach it from either the historical or the æsthetic side. Brief biographical notices are given of the several artists drawn upon.
Social Science. Mr. Frederick Law Olmstead’s A Consideration of the Justifying Value of a Public Park, which was read before the meeting of the American Social Science Association at Saratoga. has been issued as a pamphlet (Tolman & White, printers, Boston), and ought to have a wide circulation for the guidance of communities, many of which are quite ready to see his wisdom, and able to profit by it. —The fifty-first annual report of the Inspectors of tlie State Penitentiary for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania for the year 1880 is printed by McLaughlin Brothers, Philadelphia. It illustrates te development of the solitary system into the individual-treatment method— The Servant-Girl Question, by Harriet Prescott Spofford (Houghton, Mifflin & Co.), contains a series of essays upon domestic service. Mrs. Spofford seems to hint that her hope lies, as a last resort, in China. She does not appear to touch on corporation or labor-saving machines as helping to solve the problem.— Perhaps an accompaniment to Mrs. Spofford’s book will be found in What Girls Can Do, by Phillis Browne (Cassell), a book of advice and suggestions in the direction of household work, entertainment, and gaining a livelihood. It. professes to be a book for mothers and daughters, and to have the most practical intention. What tho mother does not know, this book knows. — The Easiest Way in Housekeeping and Cooking, by Helen Campbell (Fords), is the work of a writer who has had practical experience in the conduct of a training-school amongst a class requiring much general knowledge not only of domestic economy, but of related scientific laws; and the book is more than, a cook-book, and only less than a treatise on the art of sound living.— Mr. Edward Atkinson, of Boston, has printed the address which he gave in Atlanta, in October, 1880, for the promotion of an international cotton exhibition. (A. Williams & Co.)
Ethnology. Dr. Edward H. Knight, whose researches iu the curiosities of barbarous or semirivilizcd nations will be recalled by diligent readers: of The Atlantic, has made a Study of the Savage Weapons at the Centennial Exhibition iu Philadelphia, which is printed in the Smithsonian Annual Report for 1879, and published separately as a monograph. This study may be taken as a supplement to bis series of articles.—The Chinese, their Education, Philosophy, and Letters, by W. A. P. Martin, D. D., LL. D. (Harpers), is a collection of essays, by a competent hand, relating to a phase of Chinese life which takes precedence of merely commercial considerations. The book had previously been printed in; China.
Education and Text-Books. Mr. Hudson’s School Shakespeare includes now King Henry IV., Part II., and King Henry V.—No. 4 of Circulars of Information of the Bureau of Education connected with the Interior Department is occupied with a treatise on Rural School Architecture, by the architect, Mr. T. M. Clark, of Boston. The treatise is practical and in detail. —No. 5 of the same series is a report on English Rural Schools, by Mr. Henry W. Hulbert; the report deals with facts, and makes little or no effort to apply them to American conditions. — A First German Book, after the natural or Pestalozzian method, has been prepared by Prof. James H. Worman. (Barnes.) The book has been used in the Chautauqua classes.
Music. Music-Study in Germany, from the home correspondence of Amy Fay (Chicago: Jansen, McClurg & Co,), will recall to many readers of The Atlantic the lively sketches by A. F., which appeared a few years ago, — the familiar relation by a young lady of what she saw and heard in Tnusig’s conservatory, with Kullak, with Liszt, and with Deppe. — The modest lover of music need not be dismayed by the size of Edmund Gurney’s The Power of Sound (London: Smith, Elder & Co.); for the author is not only fresh and readable, but in kindly sympathy with the man or woman of average musical knowledge. His book, with all its comprehensiveness, is not severe, nor is it sentimental, but the animated presentation of a subject which has been hidden under technic and drowned under rhapsody.
Science. The Power of Movement in Plants, by Charles Darwin, assisted by Francis Darwin (Appletons), has for its chief object to describe and connect together several large classes of movement common to almost all plants. — To the Darwin literature must be added Mr. William Den-
ton’s question, Is Darwin Right'l or, The Origin of Man. (Wellesley, Mass., Denton Publishing Company.) In his preface there is an odd conjunction of science and politics, as represented by Mr. Denton and President Garfield.
Medicine and Hygiene. Dr. W. A. Hammond, well known for his special attention to nervous diseases, has issued On Certain Conditions of Nervous Derangement (Putnams), a new and enlarged edition of his Spiritualism and other Causes and Conditions of Nervous Derangement, published four or five years ago. His treatise covers cases of somnambulism, hysteria, and other forms of nervous derangement, and deals practically with so-called miracle-workers, like Louise Latesu and others.
Philosophy and Religion. The Story of Philosophy, by Aston Leigh (London : Trübner), is an attempt at giving in familiar phrase a condensed history of philosophy before the Christian era. The writer intends the book chiefly for those who are repelled by the severer histories and dismayed by the philosophical terminology.
Books for Young People. Among books intended for children must be placed Life and her Children, by Arabella B. Buckley. (Appletons.) It gives “glimpses of animal life from the amœba to the insects.” We do not inquire into its scientific correctness; but we question the wisdom of giving children so much of the interior organization of animals, and of introducing them at once into the philosophy of natural selection.
Literature. The Classical Poetry of the Japanese, by Basil Hall Chamberlain ( London : Trübner), will have an interest for students if, as the translator declares, native poetry is the sole exception to imitativeness in Japanese art.—A pretty edition of Addison’s Essays, in a selection made by J. R. Green, has been published by Macmillan. Mr. Green’s introduction is interesting for its clear statement of the meaning which lies behind the appearance in English history and literature of the Spectator; in his selection he has sought to avoid Addison’s merely critical and political papers, and to give those which are intrinsically and not historically interesting. — Pearls of Thought, bv Matnrin M. Ballou (Houghton, Mifflin & Co.), is a little volume of significant passages from literature, classified under topics arranged alphabetically.
Bibliography. The Harpers have published an admirable index to their magazine, covering the sixty volumes which closed with the number for June, 1880. The compiler is Mr. Charles A. Durfee. who has shown excellent judgment in making the whole index to consist of one alphabetical list. It is an analytical index; and articles may be found under titles, topics, and author’s name.
Bricahrac. Browsing among Books, and Other Essays, by Abba Gould Wools on (Roberts), is a little volume containing a score of half-idle monologues upon as many topics which have suggested themselves to a bright woman. — Parlor Varieties, Plays, Pantomimes, Charades, by Emma E. Brewster. (Lee & Shepard.) There are parlors and parlors.