History and Biography. In the review of Abbott’s Greece published in the September Atlantic only the name of the English publisher was given. It is issued in America by G. P. Putnam’s Sons.—Colonial Times on Buzzard’s Bay, by William Root Bliss. (Houghton.) The appearance of a second edition of this little book gives us another opportunity to commend the painstaking and affectionate labor which has taken material somewhat scorned by the historian, or used only with unpalatable dryness, and has constructed a most readable account of a corner of New England. The new chapters on The Squire and Impressments for the King are distinct additions, and of a piece with the rest of the book. If we had more local historians like Mr. Bliss, town histories would not be limited for their public to bald-headed men. — Jane Austen, by Mrs. Charles Malden. (Roberts.) In the series of Famous Women, Mrs. Malden would have been hard put to it for materials if she had not availed herself of the novels. By liberal extracts she pieces out her work, which is a convenient and quietly written narrative, hardly adding to what was already accessible, but worth doing if it serves to bring new readers to Miss Austen’s novels. Her treatment of Miss Austen’s genius is sympathetic rather than noticeably discriminating. — Jonathan Edwards, by Alexander V. G. Allen. (Houghton.) The first in a new series of American Religions Leaders. New methods of inquiry constantly call for old subjects, and a scientific spirit in theological criticism, such as Dr. Allen employed in his work on The Continuity of Christian Thought, naturally turns to a great theme like Jonathan Edwards. The result is seen in a singular refreshing of what to most appears an outworn theme. Ancient New England Thought in the Light of Modern Discoveries this book might have been called, and we are confident that the charm of Dr. Allen’s courteous manner will win many readers who would never have had the courage to attack the subject of Jonathan Edwards through the customary books.
Education and Text-Books. A Higher History of the United States, for Schools and Academies, by Henry E. Chambers. (F. F. Hansell & Bro., New Orleans.) Aside from its interest as a text-book avowedly for Southern schools, this book is interesting as illustrating the temper in which a Southerner of the present generation treats the great subjects of slavery and secession, when he is instructing the young. He maintains that slavery as an economic method was sound and productive of commercial success, but he is glad it is a thing of the past; he tries to persuade his students that the immigration into the Northern States changed the character of t hose States and substituted a loyalty to the Union for a loyalty to the State, but he does not explain why there was no immigration to the South. He makes the lesson of the blockade to be the need in any country of diversified industries, and in general he treats disunion as a temporary conflict of the two sections, followed by a union ‘which he is eager to see stronger. Although the student may think this book a superficial one, he will at least recognize the fact that moderation of language has taken the place of bitterness and of sectional glorification.— Elene, an old English poem, edited, with introduction, Latin original, notes, and complete glossary, by Charles W. Kent. (Ginn.) A well-equipped, carefully prepared text-book, forming volume iii. of a Library of Anglo-Saxon Poetry. — School Hygiene, or the Laws of Health in Relation to School Life, by Arthur Newsholme. (Heath.) A sensible book by an Englishman who avails himself largely of the observations of American medical men, and appears to write his book with special reference to American needs. As the laws of health in a monarchy and in a republic are identical, it ought not to be laid up against Mr. Newsholme that he is an Englishman. — The Essentials of Method, by Charles De Garrno. (Heath.) The author explains in his preface that he concerns himself solely with the inquiry “how we learn, and consequently how we must teach.”Much that is simple enough in its application and common use is here resolved into philosophical principles.—The Child and Child-Nature, by the Baroness Mu renholtz-Bülow. (C. W. Bardeen, Syracuse.) The author is well known as an evangelist of the Fröbel gospel, and in these essays devotes herself to an elucidation of Fröbel’s principles. One difficulty which we find with these profound analyses of child-nature is their solemnity. A world conducted on Fröbel’s principles might be very correct, but its play would be a matter of conscience. To think that 1.1ie play of bo-peep is perilous as teaching concealment ! — Les Trois Mousquetaires, par Alexandre Dumas, edited and annotated for use in colleges and schools by F. C. Snmichrast. (Ginn.) Mr. Sumichrast has boiled down this famous book into the space required for a text-book. What a good time young people have now with their text-books in French! Their fathers read Télémaque. — Seven Thousand Words often Mispronounced, a complete hand-book of difficulties in English pronunciation, including an unusually large number of proper names and words and phrases from foreign languages, by William Henry F. Phyfe. (Putnams.) A convenient and useful little book, which ought to settle a good many family quarrels. A copy should be laid on the breakfast table, by the plate of every paterfamilias.
Fiction. The Pace that Kills, by Edgar Saltus. (Belford, Clarke & Co.) There is a suicidal proclivity about Mr. Saltus’s heroes which gives us a cheerful courage to believe that his books will catch the same spirit and make way with their own lives, independently of any critical stab they may receive. In this book Mr. Saltus’s English is not as coruscating as usual, but his characters smell just as badly as ever. — Trean, or the Mormon’s Daughter. by Alva Milton Kerr. (Belford, Clarke & Co.) There is no mistaking the author’s sentiments, when, on the third page of his book, we read that the Mormon men “ had drained the numbing upas-cup of polygamy.’’ The story is supposed to give an inside view of Mormonism, and describes some curious rites which we happen not to have seen mentioned elsewhere. The author is in earnest, but his anti-mormon principles are sounder than his views as to the novelist’s art.— Chata and Chinita, by Louise Palmer Heaven. (Roberts.) A Mexican tale of love and jealousy and revenge, very involved, but containing incidentally a good many minute pictures of Mexican life and character. The author has, we think, sacrificed the dramatic element in her novel to this insatiable appetite for detail. — A Nameless Wrestler, by Josephine W. Bates. (Lippincott.) A story of Oregon life. The materials are not especially new, and the book is perilously near mere sensationalism, but there are touches now and then which indicate a possibility of better work from the author. — Two numbers of Harper’s Franklin Square Library are The Country, a story of social life, and Margaret. Malipliant, by Mrs. Comyns Carr. —The Heritage of Dedlow Marsh, and Other Tales, by Bret Harte. (Houghton.) Mr. Harte has shown a little more reserve than usual in these tales, and the result. is seen in more compact and artistic work. They certainly contain the best work he has done for many a day.
Essays. Mr. Hanierton has taken the papers with which he delighted readers of The Atlantic and has built upon them his book, French and English. (Roberts.) His nicety of touch is all the more enjoyable that it is not expended on trivialities, hut accompanies a frank and generous judgment of the characteristics of two great nations. The simplicity of treatment is very agreeable, and the reader knows that he is in the hands of a courteous and cultivated gentleman, not at the mercy of a statistician or doctrinaire. — Six Portraits, by Mrs. Schuyler Van Rensselaer. (Houghton.) These portraits are studies of the life and work of Luca Della Robbia, Correggio, William Blake, Corot, George Fuller, and Winslow Homer. Mrs. Van Rensselaer writes with a decision which is not arrogant, and with a discrimination which is healthy and sober. It is pleasant to follow the lead of a writer who treats of artists as persons of like passions as ourselves, and not as members of a privileged class. — Jacques Bonhomme, by Max O’Rell. (Cassell.) The title of this book covers also three shorter papers, A Frenchman, yet not a Frenchman, John Bull on the Continent, and From my Letter Box. The cleverness of this little book is not due to its tiresome chase of epigrams, but to the fact that the writer is at home in his subjects, and has a knack of hitting off characteristics of his countrymen and of absentee Englishmen.