Books: The Editors Like

Biography

HKRNÁN CORTÉS by Salvador de Madariaga.
(Regnery, $6.50.) The conqueror of Mexico is a demigod, his enemies low rascals, the Aztecs fairly noble savages in this learned, frankly partisan biography, written with the gusto and the gaiety that a great talc deserves.
HENRY JAMES: AUTOBIOCRAPHY, edited by Frederick W. Dupee. (C riterion, $7.50.) The old master’s late, circuitous essays at self-revelation—“A Small Boy and Others,”“Notes of a Son and Brother, and “The Middle Years” — in one volume for the first time.
SIR WALTER RALEIGH by Philip Magnus.
(Macmillan, $1.95.) One of the Brief Lives series. So much is packed into a short space that detail and perspective suffer, but the main facts of Raleigh’s life and the outlines of his world come through clearly enough.

Fiction

THE ROAD by Harry Martinson. (Reynal, $3.50.) Man vs. society, freedom vs. responsibility, law, love, and loneliness are dealt with in this half-poetical picaresque novel about a Swedish tramp.
THE BURNT OFFERING by Albrecht dues.
(Pantheon, $2.50.) A German woman’s attempt at personal atonement for Nazi atrocities, told with a simplicity and naive power that recall medieval legend.
AN END TO DYING by Sam Astrachan. (Farrar, Straus & Cudahy, $3.50.) A first novel, uneven but lively, the best of it describing the rise of a Jewish lumbering family in the last days of the Tsar.

The of History

HISTORICAL WHODUNITS by Hugh Ross Williamson. (Macmillan, $3.75.) Unorthodox solutions to some of the bloodier puzzles of English history, amusing, surprising, and alarmingly persuasive.
THE LAST VOYAGE OF THE LUSITANIA by A. I. and Mary Iloehling. (Holt, $3.75.) Once the torpedo strikes, this affair still grips like an octopus, but the Lusitania sank fast, leaving few survivors and little detailed information, a condition which has led the authors to pad the first part of their book with irrelevancies.
THE GIRL WITH THE SWANSDOWN SEAT by
Cyril Pearl. (Bobbs-Merrill, $3.95.) Mr. Pearl is probably wrong in thinking that multitudes still believe all Queen Victoria’s subjects to have been chaste, pious, and sober, but his evidence to the contrary is too entertaining for complaint.
CHERISH THE SEA by Jean de la Varende. (Viking, $5.00.) Opinionated, idiosyncratic, witty, and full of diagrams, anecdotes, references to the author’s seagoing ancestors or recent experiments, this history of sailing ships is like nothing else in the field, and great fun.