« AnteriorContinuar »
strangely apposite (Longmans). Messrs. Longmans are also responsible for the issue of two other important works of History, The Passing of the Great Reform Bill, by Mr. J. K. M. Butler, and for the latest volume of Sir George Trevelyan's History of the American Revolution. The volume is styled George the Third and Charles Fox. Another continuation of an important work issued by this firm is Vol. III., of Mr. Hill's History of Diplomacy in the International Development of Europe, in which the author deals with “The Diplomacy of the Age of Absolutism." This also has an appealing interest for us to-day.
Professor Oman's History of the Peninsular War proceeds to its fourth volume, 1811-12 (Oxford, Clarendon Press ; London, Milford). The year has also produced one or two valuable studies of Greater Britain, chiefly continuations of previous undertakings, such as the sixth volume of Mr. Wyatt Tilby's The English People Overseas—South Africa, 1486-1913 (Constable), and Sir Charles Lucas's Historical Geography of the British Colonies, Vol. III., revised by Dr. A. B. Keith (Oxford, Clarendon Press ; London, Milford). Mr. Milford also publishes The Oxford Survey of the British Empire, an invaluable work in six volumes, edited by Mr. A. J. Herbertson and Mr. J. R. Haworth. Several Historical studies of Ancient and Medieval London are issued, and to bring the subject to date we have Sir Laurence Gomme's important work (Williams and Norgate). With regard to Ancient History the year is somewhat a barren one, but we gladly welcome Mr. T. Lloyd's The Making of the Roman People (Longmans), and the first volume of Messrs. Hutchinson’s History of the Nations, edited by Mr. G. W. Hutchinson, and supported by such eminent authorities in their various departments as Professor Flinders Petrie, Sir Richard Temple and Dr. Mahaffy.
The subject of History naturally leads to the more particular consideration of literature which deals with the countries prominently involved in the present European conflict,-France, Russia and Germany.
In addition to the studies of Napoleon already referred to, there is a considerable output of books dealing with the intricacies of the international situation, and with the echoes of 1870, as for example Mr. Vizetelly's My Days of Adventure,-treating of “ The Fall of France, 1870-71 " (Chatto & Windus), also the Correspondance du Duc D'Aumale et de Cuvillier-Fleury (1865-71), of which the fourth volume is issued by MM. Plon-Nourrit. Another interesting and important work bearing upon the situation is M. Reynaud's Histoire Generale de l'Influence Française en Allemagne (Hachette), tracing the workings of French civilisation in Germany,--and the debt owed by this last-mentioned country to France.
Associated with the same subject must be mentioned French Civilisation in the Nineteenth Century (Fisher Unwin) by A. L. Guerard. It is delightful to greet Les Comedies-Ballets de Molière, edited by M. Péllisson (Hachette),-being the Ballets written for the Court of Louis XIV.,-also Life of Saint-Säens, by J. Bonnerot (Durand), before turning to the literature concerning the political and philosophical outlook of Germany.
It may be remembered by occasional readers how much space in our columns the increasing flow of volumes on Germany has in the few last years occupied. This year, as might be expected, the mass of books is greater than ever, and some of the most informing ones come from that country itself. Every one is acquainted, at least by name, with the writings of Treitschke, whose Life and Works are now translated into English for the first time, and published by Messrs. Jerrold, and Allen & Unwin. The great Professor's Political Thought is further dealt with by H. W. C. Davis (Constable), who gives also extracts from the writer's now world-famous views upon England. Mr. Douglas Sladen also contributes a translation of The Confessions of Frederick the Great, King of Prussia, and the Life of Frederick the Great, by the same notable author (Hutchinson). Two interesting books on German social and political life are given us by Mr. W. H. Dawson,-Municipal Life and Government in Germany (Longmans), and The Evolution of Modern Germany (Fisher Unwin), this last portraying the change in German thought since the days of Goethe, Kant and Schiller. One of the most amazing books of the time is Professor Morgan's translation of The German War-Book (Murray), a work which takes precedence of all other German military publications, being directly issued for the instruction of the German officer by the authority of the German General Staff. Professor Morgan's fine, critical Introduction and discussion of its Machiavellian principles is of great value. Among other important German publications we must take note of Prince Bülow's Imperial Germany, as translated by Marie A. Lewenz (Cassell). Other books, not by German authors, are also pressed upon us. Lord Roberts —whose opinion will be hailed and venerated by all right-thinking Britons -advised all who wished to understand the “present crisis” to read Germany and England, by Professor Cramb, and having an Introduction by the Hon. Joseph Choate (Murray). The Times likewise assures us that if any one wishes to understand the equity of our cause in the present war, he should read Pan-Germanism, by Dr. Roland G. Usher (Professor of History, Washington University, St. Louis) (Constable).
Russia likewise has had her share of attention, and the Life of Catherine the Great has again been studied, this time by Mr. E. A. Brayley Hodgetts (Methuen), also Mr. Maurice Baring has been moved to make us better acquainted with The Mainsprings of Russia (Nelson) in a popular handbook, as he has also contributed An Outline of Russian Literature to " The Home University Library” (Williams & Norgate). An Economic History of Russia is attempted by J. Mavor, Ph.D., Professor of Political Economy in Toronto University (Dent); also Mr. N. 0. Winter gives us The Russian Empire of To-day and Yesterday (Simpkin Marshall), and Madame N. Jarintzoff offers us papers on Russia as The Country of Extremes (Sidgwick & Jackson). Sir Claude Macdonald lends the authority of a Preface to With the Russians in Mongolia, by H. G. C. Perry Ayscough, and Captain Otter-Barry (Lane). A highly satisfactory tribute to the accessibility of the Russia of to-day lies in the first issue in England of Baedeker's Guide-book to Russia. With Teheran, Port Arthur and Peking (London, Fisher Unwin). Fridtjof Nansen likewise issues his impressions of a journey Through Siberia : the Land of the Future, translated by A. C. Chater (Heinemann).
Having thus briefly outlined the books which deal with the aims and characteristics of the countries now at war, it is necessary to glance at the mass of pamphlets to which the present situation has given rise. Naturally first among these come the inquiries and statements as to
How the War Began. A Monograph on this subject is offered us by Mr. J. M. Kennedy, with an Introduction by Dr. W. L. Courtney (Hodder & Stoughton); then we have Why Britain Fights, by Dr. J. Madley (MacLehose); Why Britain is at War, by Sir Edward Cook (Macmillan); and, by no means least important, we welcome Why We are at War: Great Britain's case, by Members of the Oxford Faculty of Modern History (Oxford, Clarendon Press; London, Milford). Mr. Austin Harrison also has an opinion to offer on The Kaiser's War, introduced by a Foreword from his distinguished relative, Mr. Frederic Harrison (Allen & Unwin), nor can we omit from the innumerable list of Pamphlets to be read Dr. W. L. Courtney's Armageddon and After (Chapman & Hall). Mr. Sinclair Kennedy's The Pan Angles, with its advocacy of the federation of the seven English-speaking nations (Longmans), seems a suitable reply to the Pan-Germanism of which we hear so much. For those who wish to follow it clearly, The Times History of the War (illustrated) will be found useful (The Times Publishing Co.).
An important volume, bearing on the international situation, is issued by Messrs. Smith Elder: this is Italy's Foreign and Colonial Policy, a selection from the speeches delivered in the Italian Parliament by the Minister for Foreign Affairs, Senator Tommaso Tittoni (recently Ambassador at St. James's), disclosing, as the outline of his policy-fidelity to the. Triple Alliance, together with friendship both for France and England. The book is translated by Baron Bernardo Quaranta di San Severino.
The war has naturally given a tremendous impetus to Military and Naval publications. These abound, and deal very particularly with such subjects as the possibilities of a German Invasion, Military Tactics, Mobilisation, Voluntary Service, Equipment, and the like. The War Office, Past and Present is dealt with by Captain Owen Wheeler (Methuen), and Messrs. Hodder & Stoughton publish a series of studies of the British, French, Russian and German Armies “From Within."
Much attention is given to Aerial Reconnaissance, as in BrigadierGeneral Henderson's book (Murray), and in Mr. Ledeboer's translation of Commandant Duchene's Flight without Formulæ (Longmans). The Despatches of Sir John French are published by Messrs. Chapman & Hall.
Many books are written'about the Navy. Two historical studies call for notice : The Navy Under the Early Stuarts, by C. D. Penn (The Faith Press, Leighton Buzzard and Manchester), and The Old Scots Navy, from 1689-1710, edited for the Navy Records Society by J. Grant, LL.B. The conditions of modern Naval warfare are treated of by many experts both as regards the use of such different units as the Torpedo-Boat, the Cruiser or the Battleship. The Naval Battle is discussed by Lieutenant A. Baudry, assisted by Captain G. Laur (of the French Army), and with an Introduction by Admiral Sir Reginald N. Custance, G.C.B. (Hugh Rees).
Opportunities of Travel have necessarily been curtailed since the war began, but up till then a good deal of adventure, chiefly in the South American Continent, has been recorded. The Upper Reaches of the Amazon, by J. F. Woodroffe (Methuen), The Amazing Argentine, by John Foster Fraser (Cassell), Bolivia, Its People and Its Resources, by P. Walle, translated by B. Miall (Fisher Unwin),—these volumes alone would suffice to show the marked trend of adventurous interest, nor is Tropical Africa overlooked, as witness Captain Stigand's book on Administration there (Methuen), then Canada is emphasised as The Land of Open Doors in a work by Mr. J. Burgon Bickersteth, with a Foreword by Earl Grey (Wells Gardner); Mr. Hamilton Fyfe gives us The Real Mexico (Heinemann) and Mr. Lowes Dickinson publishes Appearances, being interesting Notes of his Experiences as the holder of the Albert Kahn Travelling Fellowship (Dent).
It is an interesting coincidence, if nothing more, that a year unhappily marked by the destruction of so many foreign churches of priceless medieval design-Rheims Cathedral, for instance—should have been especially noticeable for its publications on Architecture. First we gladly welcome Cathedrals and Cloisters of Northern France, with illustrations from original photographs, by Elise Whitlock Rose and Vida Hunt Francis (Putnams); equally welcome is Mr. Loisel's fine illustrated monograph, La Cathédrale de Rouen (Laurens), which includes a list of the succeeding architects who have worked upon it from 1214 to the present day. Here too perhaps ought to be mentioned Mr. A. J. de Havilland's Storied Windows (Blackwood)—a study of old church glass, from the twelfth century to the Renaissance, especially in France.
Coming to our own beloved shrines, we read with delight the Dean of Gloucester's Secrets of a Great Cathedral (Dent), and appropriately comes Mr. Bumpus's Guide to Gothic Architecture (Werner Laurie). To set the seal upon all Mr. Geoffrey Scott presents through Messrs. Constable-his Architecture of Humanism, a brilliant and original work by a gifted author. Some attention has also been given to Domestic Architecture, and particularly to that of the Georgian Period both in England and Ireland. The Count de Soissons enquires into The Aesthetic Purpose of Byzantine Architecture (Murray & Evendon), and Dr. Coomaraswamy continues his studies of Indian Architecture, which (Part VII.)is issued by Messrs. Luzac.
The Art publications of the year are largely devoted to Decorative Design, and to the Reproduction of Medieval Illumination and Em. broidery, as, for example, The Book of Kells, described by Sir Edward Sullivan, and illustrated in colour by The Studio Press, or again, The Book of the Bayeux Tapestry, issued by Messrs. Chatto & Windus, in coloured facsimile, with an Introduction from M Hilaire Belloc, In this connexion the sumptuous volumes of Messrs. Batsford's Library of Decorative Art, being an illustrated survey of English Decoration, Tapestry and Furniture during the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries, should be noticed, as also a volume on Grinling Gibbons and the Woodwork of his Age—1648-1720, by H. Avray Tipping (Newnes). Turning to the study of Art in Painting, many collectors will follow with keen interest Dr. A. P. Laurie's researches into The Pigments of the Old Masters (Macmillan), an attempt to ascertain the age of pictures by scientific microscopic investigation, which will earn the gratitude of all genuine art-lovers and collectors. The Studio publishes reproductions of The Landscapes of Corot, the Text being contributed by Mr. Croal Thomson, and we give a most hearty welcome to Art in Flanders, by Mr. Max Roose, the learned Director of the Plantin Moretus Museum at Antwerp (Heinemann).
Here too might be mentioned the Catalogue of Italian Book Illustra
tions and Early Printing prepared by Mr. A. W. Pollard from the Collection of Mr. C. W. Dyson Perrins, and printed by Mr. Quaritch. The
year has not been great in Poetic Drama. The writers to whom we are already indebted for previous good things continue to provide for
In this way we have two plays from Mr. Rabindranath Tagore, Chitra (The India Society, the Chiswick Press and Macmillan) and The King of the Dark Chamber (Macmillan). Lady Gregory writes about Our Irish Theatre (Putnam), and perhaps the most arresting play of the year is Mr. Zangwill's The Melting Pot (Heinemann). We also welcome Five Plays from Lord Dunsany (Grant Richards) and Mr. John Drinkwater's Rebellion (Nutt). Mr. Galsworthy publishes Three Plays with Messrs. Duckworth, who are also responsible for the issue of a Second Series of Bjornstjerne Bjornson's Plays, translated, as before, by Mr. E. Bjorkman. Mr. Martin Secker continues his edition of Hauptmann's Dramatic Works edited by Mr. Ludwig Lewisohn.
Poetry is with us always, and the year is not exceptional for any outstanding inspiration. Mr. Elkin Mathews is, as usual, to the fore in this department of Literature. He publishes Mr. Gibson's Thoroughfares and Borderlands, the Cubist Poems of Mr. Max Weber, Sailor Town, delightfully fresh Sea Songs and Ballads, by Miss Fox-Smith, Moorland Sanctuary and Other Poems, by a new singer-Mr.R. H. Law-and also the collection of Mr. Binyon's fine war-poems, styled The Winnowing Fan.
The war has indeed animated the writers of patriotic verse, and Messrs. Chatto and Windus publish a collection of Poems of the Great War-sold for the benefit of the Prince of Wales' Fund-also Mr. Lane prints Songs and Sonnets for England in War Time. Needless to say, the best known modern poets are among the contributors to these volumes. The Poetry Bookshop offers Mr. Maurice Hewlett's Sing-Songs of the War, and also issues Mr. Harold Monro's Children of Love. Some New Poems by Robert Browning and Mrs. Browning are edited by Sir Frederick Kenyon (Smith Elder), and Mr. Thomas Hardy gives us Satires of Circumstance (Macmillan). From Mr. Masefield we have Philip the King and Other Poems (Heinemann), and we welcome more poems from Miss Rose Macaulay : The Two Blind Countries (Sidgwick and Jackson).
The year has had two startling poetic sensations : the discovery of a fragment of Sappho, and of Alcæus, already noticed, and of two hitherto unpublished Sonnets of Keats. Deeply interesting, yet weakly characteristic of him as these are, it cannot be said that their publication adds any further lustre to a reputation which in the great genius of sonnet. writing can scarcely be enhanced.
Looking back on the year that has passed we are particularly grateful for two literary gifts we have received : the Address of Mr. Balfour to the British Association on May 8 last, and Mr. Frazer's completed edition of his great life-work, The Golden Bough (Macmillan).
With the output of the year's Fiction it is absolutely impossible to cope in this brief article. One of the fascinating literary articles of the year has been Mr. Henry James' critique upon The Younger Generation, issued in The Times' Literary Supplement for March and April.