Books of the Month

Fiction. The Monk’s Wedding, by Conrad Ferdinand Meyer, translated by Sarah H. Adams. (Cupples & Hurd.) An Italian story, supposed to be told by Dante, the whole seen through German spectacles. The story and its ingenious setting have the air of archæological accuracy, and the plot is an involved one. It seems impossible, though, for a German scholar to shake off a certain Germanic hardness and dryness, and thus the result, clear as it is, fails, in our judgment, to have that warmth and mellowness which are required to render an historically conceived romance really interesting and effective. The author treats the subject as Kaulbach might have treated it in design. — Confessions of Two, by Marianne Gaillard Spratley and Elizabeth Octavia Willisson. (G. W. Dillingham, New York.) This novel is in the form of letters exchanged by two girls, one of whom has gone South to be a governess, while the other remains in the North. The scheme promises more than is really fulfilled. One guesses that both the young ladies are really Southerners. There is no play of contrasts, the letters are not real letters, and the stories developed are of an ordinary cast. — In the Golden Days, by Edna Lyall. (Appleton. ) An historical novel, of a semi-domestic order ; the scenes laid in England at the end of the seventeenth century. Algernon Sidney is introduced as an important figure, and pains is taken to give color from actual scenes and persons, but the author does not seem to have thought herself into the time. It is a masquerade, in which the maskers use their natural voices and ordinary turns of expression. — Edith, by Mrs. Ottilie Bertron. (Jenkins & McCowan, New York.) A somewhat confused novel, of an artificial kind, in which persons and incidents are manufactured, and one doubts the wisdom of finishing long before he gets to the end of the book. — Miss Gascoigne, by Mrs. J. H. Riddell. (Appleton.) Up to the point of Miss Gascoigne’s parting with the old love, the story is strong and in fairly good proportions ; but surely only the exigencies of a short story compelled Mrs. Riddell to make her heroine on with the new in such a jiffy. — Bellona’s Husband, by Hudor Genone. (Lippincott.) Mere eccentricity is far removed from originality, and this bewildering, crazy piece of fiction has not the charm of goodnatured nonsense. — Philip Hazelbrook, or the Junior Curate, a story of English clerical and social life, by Henry Faulkner Darnell. (C. L. Sherrill & Co., Buffalo.) One of the sweet fictions regarding English clerical life which must turn the stomach of a genuine vigorous East End of London priest, if he could be persuaded to look on such a counterfeit presentment. — A Modern Circe, by the author of Molly Bawn. (Lippincott.) As the title intimates, this is one of the books in which there is a succession of scenes, each culminating in “ their lips met.” The enchantments are described with a coarse kind of vigor, but with little originality, and the whole book needs draining.