By F. Tennyson fesse andDOUBLEDAY, DORAN H. M. Harwood
THIS is an exchange of letters between a British couple, the wife a novelist and the husband a playwright, with a number of American friends, several of whom are also prominent in theatrical circles. The letters from London naturally are of the widest public interest, and their presentation of the British cause, at once straightforward and spirited and witty, will doubtless appeal to a larger audience than the persons to whom the letters were addressed. Along with the war there is gossip of literature and the stage and of daily British life during the period when the blackout was the chief reminder to the Englishman at home that a war was in progress. There are two elements which one misses in the letters, although this does not make them less authentic or representative. The intense drama of the last months, when any charwoman’s experiences might be an epic of heroism and suffering, is necessarily absent, since the letters antedate the period of mass air attack. And one senses in some of the letters a rather unrealistic overconfidence. For the authors are more at home with witty sayings (’One could wish that the only commodity from the United States which one does not get on cash-and-carry terms is moral indignation’) than with military strategy. Only at the end, after the fall of France, is there a recognition of the desperate seriousness of the situation. W. H. C.