Books of the Month

Science. In the International Scientific Series, the latest volume is Karl Semper’s Animal Life as affected by the Natural Conditions of Existence. It is an attempt to apply exact investigation to the doctrine of variability. The book is furnished with two maps and one hundred and six woodcuts. (Appleton.) — The Endowment of Scientific Research is the title of an address given by Prof. George Davidson before the California Academy of Sciences, of which the author is president. His claim is that the State should furnish the endowment.— Dr. St. George Mivart’s monograph on The Cat, an introduction to the Study of Backboned Animals, especially mammals, has been published by Scribners in an octavo volume, apparently from English plates, certainly in a fair page, with abundant illustration. The work is necessarily a contribution also to the question of the origin of species. —A second series of Popular Lectures on Scientific Subjects, by H. Helmholtz, translated by E. Atkinson, has been published by Appleton. One interesting topic is on the relation of optics to painting, and the essays and addresses are marked by candor and freshness of interest. — In the International Scientific Series, the thirtysecond volume is entitled General Physiology of Muscles and Nerves, by Dr. J. Rosenthal. The volume is in some sense a pioneer work in the subject. (Appleton.) — The History of a Mountain, translated from the French of Elisée Reclus, by Bertha Ness and John Lillie (Harpers), is a poetic rather than fanciful biography of mountain forms; one may be glad that science is here popularized in a genuine and not artificial manner. — Electric Meteorology is a pamphlet which comes to us from G. A. Rowell, at Oxford (Slatter & Rose), and is an endeavor to show the general agency of electricity in the cause of rain and its allied phenomena, with an appeal for the consideration of the theory advanced. — Mr. Alexander Ramsay sends the first number of The Scientific Roll and Magazine of Systematized Notes (London: Bradbury, Agnew & Co.), the application, apparently, to current scientific literature of the method used for furnishing lawyers with the points of recent decisions. — From G. Reimer, Berlin, we have received Zinn, eine Geologisch-Montanistisch-Historische Monografie, von E. Reyer. Industrial statistics form also an important feature.

Lexicography. A Handbook of English Synonyms is a compact little book of a hundred and fifty pages, giving in alphabetical order a large number of words in ordinary use, with their synonyms, but with no definitions or distinctions. The object is to supply one with a better word than the one he has in his mind. The compiler is Loomis J. Campbell, who has had much experience with school-books. (Lee & Shepard.) — Mr. Alfred Leach has written a clever little book on The Letter H, Past, Present, and Future (London: Griffith & Farran; New York: Dutton), in which, with serious intent, he gives rules for the silent h, based on modern usage, and notes on wh ; the treatise is deliberate, but the author easily gets caught in the humorous toils of his subject.

Medicine and Hygiene. Dr. S. Weir Mitchell’s Lectures on Diseases of the Nervous System, especially in Women (H. C. Lea’s Son & Co.), comes with authority from the writer’s reputation; and if any one needs further assurance, let him read the catalogue of Dr. Mitchell’s memberships on the title-page. — The Wilderness Cure, by Marc Cook (Wood), is a matter-of-fact, interesting report, by one who has tried it, of the therapeutic powers of the Adirondacks in cases of pulmonary phthisis. The record is by a layman, but is well supplemented by professional testimony. There is some evidence from the style of the writer that he had a resolution and a sanguinary temperament, which must count on the side of recovery.

Domestic Economy. D. Appleton & Co. have begun the publication of a series of Home Books, as they are called, devoted to all subjects pertaining to the home and the household. Three volumes have been published, Building a Home, How to Furnish a Home, and The Home Garden. The first is by A. F. Oakey, the others by Ella Rodman Church; all are illustrated, and from their limited dimensions are compelled to treat the subjects suggestively. We think more suggestion could have been had if the writers had written less; there is no room in such books for chat. It is a pity that something should not have been said of landscape gardening on a small scale, a subject which has only just begun to receive attention, but may well be made interesting to multitudes of small householders.—Woman’s Handiwork in Modern Homes is the title of a carefully prepared volume by Constance Cary Harrison (Scribners), which by illustrations and patterns and explicit directions offers to supply all aspiring and decorative women with works wherewith to make their homes blossom. If only one could supply taste as well!

Fiction. The Sword of Damocles is a new novel by Anna Katharine Green (Putnams), and belongs to the same class as her previous stories, The Leavenworth Case and A Strange Disappearance. Like them it ties hard knots and unties them with great elaborateness. — Mr. Perkins’ Daughter, by the Marchioness Clara Lanza (Putnams), has a portrait of the heroine facing the title-page, and an explanatory note advising the reader that Periodical Amnesia was not invented by her. But would not the dedication have been sufficient guarantee ? — It is but a thin disguise which was thrown off by Rev. W. M. Baker when he brings out his latest novel, Blessed Saint Certainty, as an extension in some ways of His Majesty Myself, which was published in the No Name Series. (Roberts Bros.) This novel has the incisive and irregular power which has marked other of his books. The strength of conviction with which he writes goes far to redeem his novels from their artistic faults.

— The latest novel of Feuillet which has been translated is Bellah, a historical novel, the scene laid in Brittany in the years of the French Revolution. (Petersons.) — The latest issues in the Leisure Hour Series (Holt) are Matrimony, by W. E. Norris (the reader may be assured that there is no nonsense about the title. The marriage does take place, contrary to the principles of some novelists of the day): and A Matter-of-Fact Girl, by Theo. Gift, who wrote the agreeable storyof Pretty Miss Bellew. — In the Franklin Square Library (Harpers) the latest issues are, My Love, by E. Lynn Linton, — his love is Stella Branscombe, and her lover is Cyril Ponsonby, and with these two names the reader may let his imagination take wings; Beside the River, by Katharine S. Macquoid, which is dedicated pleasantly to Robert Browning’s Son ; Harry Joscelyn, by the industrious Mrs. Oliphant. — In the No Name Series the latest issue is Manuela Parèdes, which will be found sufficiently stimulating. — The second part of Jules Verne’s The Steam House, with the subtitle Tigers and Traitors, has been translated by Miss Agnes D. Kingston, who translated also the first part. It is occupied with Northern India, and completes the work.—Rochefort’s novel of Mademoiselle Bismarck has been translated by Virginia Champlin (Putnams), and published in the series of Trans-Atlantic Novels. What an advertising advantage these fire-brand public men have when they publish their first novel! — It is with a little reluctance that we class here the very interesting Loukis Laras, reminiscences of a Chiote merchant during the Greek War of Independence, by D. Bikelas (Appleton, Handy-Volume Series), so strongly does it appeal to the reader’s historic taste.

— The Earl of Mayfield, by Thomas P. May (Petersons), is a fresh issue of an old book, published anonymously. The novel deals with such late history as the war for the Union. The writer announces himself as a Southern Unionist; that he is a Southerner appears from the noble birth and fortunes of his hero, a Confederate private.

Philosophy, Theology, and Religion. Rev. W. R. Alger, in his essay. The School of Life (Roberts Bros.), develops the thought involved in the title, and by an ingenious use of the appointments of education throws light upon the development of human character in the conduct of life. — The Boston Monday Lectures, which for several years were the exclusive property of the Rev. Joseph Cook, were during the past winter distributed among a number of eminent divines, representing in general the evangelical school of thought, and the result is contained in a volume entitled Christ and Modern Thought (Roberts Bros.): the first lecture being by Mr. Cook; those following by Bishop Clark, Drs. Hopkins, McCosh, Crosby, Robinson, John Cotton Smith, and others. The lecture platform is certainly most valuable when there is, as here, a positive appeal to thought, and a wellplanned conspectus of some great theme. — In the series of English Philosophers the latest volume is that devoted to David Hartley and James Mill, by G. S. Bower. (Putnams.) Two short chapters are given of a biographical character, the rest of the book being an examination of the system, of which they were successive exponents. — Christianity’s Challenge, and some Phases of Christianity submitted for Candid Consideration, is the title of a small volume of lectures, by the Rev. Herrick Johnson, D. D. (Chicago: Cushing, Thomas & Co.) Its title intimates the aggressive character of the treatment, but the aggressiveness is of the sort that is resenting an insult.—A Companion to the Revised Version of the New Testament, by Alexander Roberts, D. D., one of the English revisers (Cassell), explains the reasons for the changes made. The volume contains a supplement noting the work done by the American committee. The book will be a convenient aid to those who wish to understand the scope of the revision without minute study of their own.—The Fathers of the Third Century, by Rev. Geo. A. Jackson, is the second volume in the useful series of Early Christian Literature Primers, edited by Prof. G. P. Fisher. (Appleton.)—The Old Testament in the Jewish Church, Twelve Lectures on Jewish Criticism (Appleton), will be read with interest, since the lectures formed the basis of attack upon tho author, Professor W. Robertson Smith, of Aberdeen, who was driven from his chair. The revival of interest in biblical science is a noteworthy sign of the times.

Criticism. Thomas Carlyle, the Man and his Books, illustrated by personal reminiscences, tabletalk, and anecdotes of himself and his friends, by Wm. Howie Wylie, has been published in the Franklin Square Series. (Harpers.) It was printed in England before the appearance of the Reminiscences, and may thus be taken as an independent piece of biographic criticism. In the same series appears Lord Beaconsfield, a Study, by the Danish critic, Georg Brandes. The author, following the line of his own studies, presents Beaconsfield as he finds him in Disraeli’s writings. — The Intellectual Development of the Canadian People, by John George Bourinot (Toronto: Hunter, Rose & Co.), is a review of the journals, native literature, and educational movements in Canada. There are a great many names, and the author has a hopeful mind. He sees also that progress must be along the line of self-reliant nationality, and that Canada is still eminently provincial.— Corneille and Racine, by Henry M. Trollope (Lippincott), is a volume in the series of Foreign Classics for English Readers. The work is rather descriptive and summary than critical.

Social Science and Political Economy. Coöperation as a Business, by Charles Barnard (Putnams), is a lively account of the various coöperative enterprises which have succeeded. Its readableness is increased by the author’s habit of looking at the enterprises as if he wished to embark in them all. One can in an hour or two get from this book a clear notion of societies which to the uninitiated appear complicated and mysterious. — Mr. Steuben T. Bacon has invented a ballotbox which is intended to circumvent all rascals who use it, and secure too the registering of honest votes. He has published a little pamphlet, not descriptive of it, but as a plea for its necessity, under the title The Ballot, Dangers from its Perversion: An Appeal and Method for maintaining its Purity. The author may be addressed at 125 W. Concord Street, Boston. His sincerity and his ingenuity are equally commendable. — Col. J. W. Powell, the president of the Anthropological Society of Washington, has prepared and issued an abstract of the society’s transactions, together with his annual address; the material is drawn largely from explorations among Indian tribes.—Two pamphlets containing information for emigrants have been published: one by John R. Procter, on the Climate, Soils, Timber, etc., of Kentucky, contrasted with those of the Northwest (Frankfort, Ky.: S. T. M. Major); the other upon Texas and her Capabilities, by W. W. Lang, of Marlin, Texas. — Culture and Cooking, or Art in the Kitchen, by Catherine Owen (Cassell), like many books of its class, protests at once against being called a cookery book. We should have supposed it was from its contents: hash, puff-paste, Windsor pie, remarks on soups, potted meats, potato salad, — are all these creatures of the imagination ? There are mingled observations on economy and servants, which probably deceive the author. — The Society for Political Education, New York, has issued a useful list, in its series of Economic Tracts, of books recommended for general reading, and as an introduction to special study on Political Economy and Political Science.

History and Biography. In Cassell’s Popular Library has been published The Scottish Covenanters, by Dr. James Taylor, a brief compend of their history; its popularity will depend largely upon the sympathy of its readers.—Dr. Bartol’s discourse on Mr. Fields (Boston: A. Williams & Co.) is not a biographic sketch, but a kind characterization, a sketch, indeed, with the mere incidents of his life omitted.—The Life-Work of Elbridge Gerry Brooks, by his son (Universalist Publishing House), is a biographic sketch, which undertakes to treat the subject not individually, but in its relations. Mr. Brooks might perhaps say that he had modeled not a separate statue of his father, but one figure on a bas-relief. — Mr. Georgo T. Ferris continues his music series of brief biographic sketches in The Great Violinists and Pianists. (Appleton, Handy-Volume Series.)

Bibliography. The thirty-second annual report of the trustees of the Astor Library has been published. (Albany: Weed, Parsons & Co.) It is a legislative document, required by the act of incorporation, and indulges the reader with little beyond statistics.

Literature. A new and enlarged edition of Mr. Field’s Underbrush (Houghton, Mifflin & Co.) was ready for publication just at the time of his death, and now appears in a pretty dress, a cheerful souvenir of the friendly writer. The last pages of the book contain sketches which were not in the first edition. — Mr. Frederic May Holland has translated Browning’s Sordello into a brief story.

(Putnams.) — Journal of a Farmer’s Daughter is the title of a little volume of prose notes on country life, with occasional poetical interludes, written by Elaine Goodale. The book is honest in its bearing, though not free from self-consciousness; we are a little impatient at this persistency of print. Might not Miss Goodale be a severer critic upon herself in the simple matter of publication ? (Putnams.)

Books for Young People. How surprised De Foe will be when he reads this page to find Robinson Crusoe under this heading! It is issued in Harper’s Franklin Square series. The edition seems to be complete. — The Harpers, who keep an eye on all classes of readers, have just issued a couple of books for the little folk, The Young Nimrods in North America, by Thomas W. Knox, and Who was Paul Grayson ? by John Habberton. Both volumes are lavishly illustrated. If Mr. Habberton’s story has for the juvenile mind as much charm as it lacks for the adult reader, it ought to be a very popular work. The Young Nimrods, as its title intimates, is a narrative of lively hunting adventures.

Business. Dr. T. Sterry Hunt publishes a re port on The Mineral Resources of the Hocking Valley. (Boston: S. E. Cassino.) The Hocking Valley is in Southeastern Ohio, and Dr. Hunt gives an account of its coals, iron-ores, blast furnaces, and railroads. A careful map of the region accompanies the work.

Geography and Travel. From the Government Printing Office is issued Captain C. L. Hooper’s report of the cruise of the United States revenue steamer Corwin in the Arctic Ocean. The cruise was on the Alaska coast and in the Behring Sea, and the report contains a little of various kinds of information respecting the country and its inhabitants, the sea, its ice, and its whales. — A new edition of D. Mackenzie Wallace’s Russia has been issued by Henry Holt & Co. — Seven Years in South Africa, by Dr. Emil Holub (Houghton, Mifflin & Co.), is an elaborate work in two octavo volumes, recording the travels, researches, and hunting adventures between the diamond-fields and the Zambesi (1872-1879). It is abundantly illustrated and furnished with maps. — Random Rambles, by Mrs. L. C. Moulton (Roberts), is a collection of short sketches of foreign life and scenes, desultory and untroubled about weighty matters.

Poetry and the Drama. The production of the Œdipus Tyrannus of Sophocles at Sanders Theatre in Cambridge, has stimulated Mr. William W. Newell, a Harvard graduate, to render the play into English verse. This may be taken as one of the incidental advantages of the Greek play. It will be a pity if the representation does not inspire still further classic adventures. (Cambridge, Mass.: C. W. Sever.)—Volume XV. of the Harvard Shakespeare of Mr. Hudson (Ginn & Heath) contains King Lear and Timon of Athens ; Volume XVI., Antony and Cleopatra, and Troilus and Cressida.