One Red Rose Forever

By Mildred JordanGT;KNOPF
HEINRICH WILHELM STIEGEL is remembered today by collectors because of the beautiful glassware he made in pure colors with embossed figures. Miss Jordan has taken him out of auction catalogues and put him in a book. For a first novel, hers is very competent. It is frankly sentimental, a little marred by conscious quaintness and by synthetic archaism in the speech of the characters; but it presents many fresh and interesting facts and tells the story of Stiegel’s rise and fall with spirit. Stiegel was a remarkable creature who well deserves remembrance: financier, industrialist, craftsman, musician, and lover, able to dominate his part of colonial Pennsylvania for a while as if he had really been the baron he passed as being. The main plot deals with his love for Diane, an Acadian refugee, who shines among the German folk like a cardinal bird among sparrows. Diane’s story is a very touching one, whether we are to believe it or not; but we may wonder whether the author’s method (explained in a prefatory note) of dealing with historical characters ‘in situations which are wholly fictional and imaginary’ is quite fair to them or to the reader, especially when so few readers can tell what is fictional and what historical.
R. M. G.