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the foundations of a proper education. where the theater takes its proper place amid public institutions for the welfare of human kind? He had, in years gone by, written an exhaustive ledger, with William Archer, on the "Scheme and Estimates for a National Theatre." In his new book his thesis in no way deserts his old love a National Theater or a Shakespeare Memorial; it merely turns the earth to prepare the public soil for its growth. And that soil consists of all those educational values which the amateur movement has created. The book is heavy reading. Mr. Granville-Barker is very serious. But, thank goodness, there are some folks writing about the playhouse who will not take it lightly for fear of not being taken seriously.
I wish I might say, however, that the Little Theater movement in America had been of permanent effect on the theatrical situation. There are many books on the subject. The theaters have sprung up like weeds, and they have encouraged the spread and growth of the one-act form among our writers. But mostly these theaters have been pioneered by very zealous and, alas! jealous groups, which have failed to interrelate themselves. And it is only in unity of purpose and exchange of policies that such activity may permanently affect the country at large in its theater amusement. Professor Samuel Eliot launched his ambitious scheme of "Little Theatre Classics" in 1918. Since then he has issued four volumes in a series which has its excellences, though they are overtopped by limitations. To clip a classic for a small mold and in so doing to preserve the literary excellence and the dramatic force of the original is daring. In the main, Mr. Eliot has succeeded, and he has, further, the justification in so doing by the fact that many of these miniature Tom Thumb pieces have been used by colleges and Little Theaters. But what I want to call attention to is that in 1918 he began his preface with the statement that this movement of Little Theaters was one of the most important facts in the theatrical situation of that time. Yet in the fourth volume he turns his sarcasm in full force on the taste of these amateur groups. Evidently, in his previous volumes the amateur players have found the meat of the past too strong; evidently, they want romance of a different kind. But it seems as though something were wrong in the state of Little Theaters. My reaction to the "Little Theatre Classics" is that even in foreshortened form-however skillfully the pruning might be conducted-the garniture is not worth the effort unless a full-fledged performance be given in the same spirit that Ibsen's "The Pretenders" was given by the Yale Dramatic Association. Besides which, if the Little Theater movement truly helped the spread of the one-act play, and if our various drama anthologies are worth
Little Theatre Classics. Vol. IV. Adapted d Edited by Samuel A. Eliot, Jr. Little. own & Co., Boston. $2 net.
anything, I believe, there is a sufficient
But I turn more hopefully, in the
Constance D'Arcy Mackay's name is more closely identified with the community stage and the school than with the Little Theater, though she has written a fine review of Little Theaters. "Franklin" is a long play, however, which smacks of her desire to knock at the door of the professional theater. Unlike Louis N. Parker, whose "Disraeli" is avowedly a thing of the theater, correct in its main outlines of portraiture, but shocking to the historian, Miss Mackay begins her play with a mass of historical justifications, and has an appendix which further gives her historical references. Notwithstanding, "Franklin" is an ingenuously constructed piece of work, probably a little too evident for our professional stage, but intensely instructive for the amateur, should it be given. Somewhere Miss Mackay has failed in her constructive interest; her plotting is too much a desire to get in everything which should be given for a correct portrait of Ben. But it reads well, and should have a welcome among a large class of players.
The printed play is not always intended for the amateur stage. It is like wise a measure of literary change, and
Eight Comedies for Little Theatres. By Per-
from it can be deduced the advance made among dramatists and the change in public taste. I think one reason why Owen Davis's "The Detour" should be hailed with acclaim is that Mr. Davis. once upon a time wrote such melodrama as "Convict 999." But, in addition, I welcome it as an example of sheer realism, written with sincerity and con viction, and with a minimum of external manipulation of action for stage effect. It is a quiet writing of a simple themethe wear of New England life on the soul of a farmer's wife, and her fight to break from environment. While she loses under circumstances fraught with some dramatic effectiveness, the play ends with a shout of determination to go on. And such a note of non-defeat is strictly American. I mention this play among the isolated examples that have come to me for review, not because it is any better than the others, but because it illustrates a National character
istic liked in the American drama-the indomitable spirit that brooks no defeat. St. John Ervine's "The Ship" is strictly of the "younger generation" type. To him civilization is confronted by the problem of the new generation pointing an accusing finger at the mess in which the world finds itself. And, as in “John Ferguson," the older generation has to pay, though Ervine is fair in hinting that both sides have their claims. "Rutherford and Son," by Githa Sowerby, chants the same theme, in dissimilar plot. Arnold Bennett's "Milestones,"
Stanley Houghton's "The Younger Gen
eration" are of related interest. But the dénouement of this drama can be guessed before the plot advances far, and that is a fault with the play which follows so closely an attitude already exploited by others.
Against these two plays I pit Andreyev's "The Waltz of the Dogs," a drama of disillusionment, of queer unsettled mentality, and of Russian pessimism which was clearly defined in "He Who Gets Slapped." It is a coloring of Andreyev's own philosophy, a dismal theme most strangely, fascinatingly developed.
The amateur might run to such a drab play; but its spiritual content can only be suggested through supreme handling. I think there is no better material to be had for the unprofessional player than is contained in the many anthologies listed below. There could be no "Treasury of Plays for Women"" without the unseen protagonist, Man. The four volumes offered this season-"Con temporary One-Act Plays of 1921," "Representative One-Act Plays by British and Irish Authors,"" "Representa
The Detour. By Owen Davis. Little, Brown & Co., Boston. $1.50 net.
The Ship. By St. John G. Ervine. millan Company, New York. $1.25.
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tive One-Act Plays by Continental Authors," 12 and the one just referred to offer in total seventy-seven dramas of varying lengths. Some of the authors are well known, others are new, entering the field because of the attractiveness of the dramatic form: Many of the plays are mere exercises in construction; others are mere dialogues that are bright and dexterous. At times I am tempted to say that the technique of the one-act play is not understood by more than a small percentage of those writing for the theater. Certainly, Galsworthy. for example, is not any sort of an exponent. I smile over the volatile spirit of Christopher Morley in his "Thursday Evening" and "Rehearsal;" I think that Floyd Dell is on the road to something in "Sweet and Twenty," and then when I'm through I am convinced he isn't. 1 read Harry Kemp's "Solomon's Song," and I realize he is a poet and somewhat of a dramatist too, and then in bulk I thank any literary movement which is strong enough to keep these writers writing until some day they may grow in the way of the theater. Even the British and Irish authors are not entirely loyal to the one-act play, not as much so as the Continental authors. But on the Continent we find sophistication which partly destroys originality of experiment. After all, I believe we in America are more likely to master the one-act form than they are abroad. Because our interest is more of a piece with the short form, and our patience has to be stimulated with action if the play is long.
So, altogether, these books that have come to me for notice are a hopeful reve lation. The level is high, indicating an unusual level of public taste. The printed play is holding its own with other forms of literature.
THE NEW BOOKS
CARNAC'S FOLLY. By Gilbert Parker. J. B. Lippincott Company, Philadelphia. $1.75.
Not, in our opinion, one of Sir Gilbert's best books. The mechanics of a good story are all here; but one fails to feel much emotion or care much for the characters. It is incredible that so intelligent a person as the hero should allow his whole life to be haunted by a mock marriage, or that even as a "fool boy" he could have lent himself so ingenuously and completely to the wiles of those who managed the fraud. JANE AUSTEN'S NOVELS. 6 vols. Illustrated. E. P. Dutton & Co., New York. $12 for the set.
What stands out to the eye in this new edition is the really charming colored illustration by C. E. Brock, which sets out the characters with all Mr. Brock's recognized ability to reproduce the costumes and settings of the eighteenth century. As to the novels themselves, it is not necessary to speak. Those who like them are those who
12 Representative One-Act Plays by Continental Authors. Edited by Montrose J. Moses. Little. Brown & Co., Boston. $3 net.
E ask the privilege of sending the Greek-Pompeian Floor Lamp, the MullerPopoff design, for your own use in your own home. We lend it for your examination and comparison; for the judgment of yourself, your family, and those of your friends whose opinions in matters of beauty and art have weight. When the carrier deliv rs it you hand him the small charge for postage, and $3.85 (which is the deposit, and is returnable).
Put a bulb in the lamp, attach it to a socket and begin using it. Two, three, or four persons can read by its light at the same time. Find, by a few experiments, the best position in the room for it. It can be moved with one hand and without rising from your easy-chair.
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You can order these lamps sent direct to your Friends, in Your name, with the special announcement card provided by the League. You can pay for them on the same basis as if they were delivered to you.
IMPORTANT-Already, as this is written, orders are being received faster than these lamps can be made at present. We are increasing the number. But it is certain now that orders that are postponed too long will be too late. The number we have
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Works of beauty and heirpermanence looms a century from now. A lamp design made by the MullerPopoff group, and owned by the "D. A. L."
This lamp was designed to sell for $36. We want to see if, by offering it at a much lower price, we can secure enough orders to cause a great saving in the cost of production and distribution, and without a loss to the League. So, as an experiment, we are offering it at $19.85.
For the present, this is only an exper iment. We cannot guarantee that the price will not be raised. Your Approv al Request should be mailed at once.
Lamp is about 5 feet high. Finish rich Statuary Bronze. Base and cap are cast in solid Medallium. The upper shaft is seamless brass. Shade is parchment, brass bound. Outside decorations are in three colors; the top and bottom bands in deep red, the design in dark green, background graded in brown.
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pounds. If desired you can cover the shade with silk or other fabric to match any particular surroundings.
The regular price was fixed by the Lergue at $36. but the introductory price, and to members of the Decorative Arts League was $19.85 (which may have to be discontinued).
The price has not been advanced yet. You cau have one of the Muller-Popoff GreekPompeian lamps-(if you act at once)-at exactly the price paid by members of the Decora tive Arts League. And you can become a member without cost or obligation.
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KIM-by Rudyard Kipling
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St. Nicholas Christmas Book
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THE BOOK TABLE (Continued) agree with Sir Walter Scott when he said of the author: "That young lady had talent for describing the involvements, feelings, and characters of ordinary life, which is to me the most wonderful I ever met with. The big BowWow Strain I can do myself, like any now going; but the exquisite touch, which renders ordinary commonplace things and characters interesting from the truth of the description and the sentiment, is denied to me."
ROPE. By Holworthy Hall. Dodd, Mead & Co., New York. $1.75.
A light-weight story, but none the less amusing. Henry's rally from a life of elegant leisure to a fighting existence as the manager of a movie theater is capitally worked out. He has to make good or lose a fortune. He makes good, and has the additional satisfaction of outwitting his Puritanical aunt and her scheming and dishonest husband. SAINT JEANNE D'ARC. By Minna Caroline Smith. The Macmillan Company, New York. $2.25.
A new semi-historical and semifictional narrative of this saint's life, for saint she now is. It has imagination and earnestness and leaves one filled with enthusiastic belief in Joan's personality and honesty. The author takes a more literalistic, and therefore ecclesiastical, view than most students of the psychology of spiritual sincerity would accept. The book is an addition to the literature of the subject, which is always of intense human interest.
BOOKS FOR YOUNG FOLKS
JOHN MARTIN'S BIG BOOK. The John Martin Book House, New York. $2.50.
This is the sixth of the "Big Books" published annually, and that fact alone indicates the popularity of the idea among children. This particular volume has a picture on every page, and over sixty of the pictures are in color. Its contents are varied and include all sorts of things from fairies to bears, together with much fun and nonsense of the kind small children like. That John Martin knows what this is, his long experience and success in catering to children proves. From the same house come several small books for children, some of which have a little instruction, but all of which are primarily picture books.
DAVID LUBIN: A STUDY IN PRACTICAL IDEALISM. By Olivia Rossetti Agresti. Little, Brown & Co., New York. $3.50. Many self-made men become absorbed in the pursuit of personal success; David Lubin was of a different mold. He came to America a poor boy; "went West;" amassed a fortune; but never lost his idealistic view of life. He became an influential factor in great movements; and his life-story is told in this book by a sympathetic co-worker who imparts her admiration for Lubin's character and achievements to the reader.
HISTORY AND POLITICAL ECONOMY NEW PALESTINE (THE). By W. D. McCrackan. Illustrated. The Page Company. Boston. $5.
The author, while doing relief work in Jerusalem, published a daily paper