THE LIBRARY LANTERN
Published monthly from October to June by the
Hamilton Smith Library, of the University
of New Hampshire
Entered as s tt 10, 1927, at the post office at Durham, New Hampshire,
eri act of August 24, 1912
Vol. 9 ~f AUARY, 1934 No. 4
S- i ~* MAN'S PART IN THE WAR
TESTAI14 OF YOUTH, by Vera Brittain.
To so~ re ders this may ,be just another book about the war: to others, one
of the most moving autobiographies ever written by a woman. The author writes
of the war as it affected her personal life, interrupting her hard-won Oxford edu-
cation, taking her as a nurse right into the war zone, carrying off one by one her
lover, her friends, and her brother. We think of the tragedy of the war very often
in terms of the promising young lives lost, or of the political and economic wreck-
age it caused: what of the wrecked lives it left behind, the women especially, of
England, France, Germany, whose lives were turned from joy to dread, and
then to anguish as their loved ones were killed one by one? When peace came they
did not fit into the new world, they were not wanted, they made the older genera-
tion uncomfortable because they knew too much, and repelled the younger by
keeping alive the war-time tensions which the latter could otherwise forget. Vera
Brittain writes for these, a hard-headed but not hard-boiled thinker, who was
able at last to emerge from the turmoil and build up a new life.
T,HE BIRD OF DAWNING, by John Masefield.
All the elements of a good sea story are here: racing clippers, a collision
at sea, an open boat with scant food and water, an abandoned ship, half-mad
captains and stout-hearted sailors. Mr. Masefield plunges ahead with his tale,
without chapter divisions, and manages to hold one enthralled to the happy
ending. Only one with a profound love of the sea and sailing ships could write
such a story, while the description of the great wave advancing toward the little
boat is a "bit of all right." But read the book for yourself and taste "the flung
spray and the blown spume."
A VETERAN EXPLORER
RIDDLES OF THE GOBI DESERT, by Sven Hedin.
The author here continues hia c~in~ s his account of the great scientific
expedition into the Gobi begun in "Across the Gobi Desert." The unsettled con-
dition of the Nanking government gave rise to seemingly unending difficulties
and delays, but Hedin is not a man easily daunted. He kept his men in the field
despite adverse political and climatic conditions. He was obliged to leave Asia
for six months while he travelled to Boston to consult Dr. Harvey Cushing.
While in this country he was amazed and thrilled by our American speed.
The latter half of the book recounts the experiences and activities of the
various parties comprising the expedition. The chapter describing the motor trip
through Inner Mongolia is especially interesting, also Lieut. Haslund's report
of his visit to the Torgut tribe in the Zuldus mountains, and Dr. Homer's dis-
covery of New Lop Nor.
AMERICANS IN VARIETY
THE TWO FRANKLINS, by Bernard Fay.
Mr. Fay is becoming most prolific as a foreigner writing on Amnerica and
Americanst His writing does not add a great deal to the known facts of his
subjects, but he writes very charmingly and lucidly while displaying careful re-
search and scholarship. The two Franklins here are Benjamin and his grandson,
Benjamin Franklin Bache. As a character in the book the elder Benjamin appears
for a brief time at the beginning to show his vast influence on the political edu-
cation of the younger, the book being mainly concerned with Bache. It covers a
very interesting and critical period in American history and aptly brings out
Bache's influence on the political philosophy of the time.
OUR TIMES, volume 5: OVER HERE, 1419-18, by Mark Sullivan.
The climax of this momentous Sullivan series is reached with this volume
covering the years of the world war. It sees America through a period ranging
from an attitude of "let Europe keep the war" to extreme war hysteria; it sees
Wilson rise almost to world power in 1918 and fall to virtual degradation in
his tragic defeat of 1919.
JOHN HAY, by Tyler Dennett.
For many years Thayer's rather eulogistic Life and letters of John Hay
has been the standard work on Lincoln's private secretary and biographer, dip-
lomat and rrian of letters, 'but it now appears to be largely replaced, for bio-
graphy and interpretation of American public life of Hay's times at least, by
Dennett's scholarly and very readable volume.
THE AMERICAN PROCESSION.
A very interesting collection of photographs illustrative of American life
from 186o to 1917, assembled 'by Agnes Rogers, with running comment by
Ferderick Lewis Allen. They range from tragedy to hilarity and present prac-
tically every phase of American life during the period. Allen's captions are racy
AH, WILDERNESS! by Eugene O'Neill.
For the first time O'Neill has failed to imbue a play of his with an abundance
of tragic passion. Ah, Wl"ilderness! has a distinct tone of comedy and is built
around the characterization of a typical hniddle class American family of 1906.
A BOOK OF AMIERICANS, by Rosemary and Steven Vincent Benet.
From Columbus, who discovered our country "by thinking it couldn't be
there", to Woodrow Wilson, who "rowed the storm-tossed barque of State",
these poetic portraits describe in raty terms many a lively American. There
is Captain Kidd and Johnny Appleseed, three Adamses, Abraham Lincoln, P. T.
Barnum, in short, all sorts of people. Good or bad, they are given their due:
of Jesse James,
"All we can say is, anyway
He earned his outlaw fame."
". .life was never a dull affair
When T. R. ruled the land."
Ben Franklin flew a kite,
"And all our humming dynamos and our electric light
Go back to what Ben Franklin found, the day he flew his kite."
The illustrations, some in colour, are lively too.
PRESENT DAY EUROPE
THE INTELLIGENT MAN'S REVIEW OF EUROPE TODAY, by G. D.
H. Cole and Margaret Cole.
"What is Europe? Too many English readers think of it as an over-large,
polyglot, ill-tempered country lying to the south and east of England." Mr. and
Mrs. Cole, extraordinarily able authors, have furnished an encyclopedic answer
to this question. The geography, economics, politics and international relations
are analyzed for Europe as a whole and for all the individual countries. The
authors are confirmed Socialists, which to some extent prejudices their inter-
pretation, although this is not very evident until the final section of the book.
In this, "The European Outlook", they present a rather pessimistic future unless
Europe is wise enough to change to a Socialist system of government which
will be cosmopolitan and devoid of the present nationalistic hatreds. Capitalism
may recover temporarily but this will mean new imperialistic and nationalistic
rivalries and wars. Whether one agrees with this view or not, this sober picture
of Europe today gives one an unusual knowledge of the facts.
"A MAN ENIGMATIC, DIFFICULT TO UNMASK!"
BORIS GODUNOF, by Stephen Graham.
Carlyle's words might well have been written about Boris Godunof. The task
of writing a biography of Boris was no easy one, for in addition to the peculiar
character of the man, historians' accounts of the troubled tiknes in which he
lived are sketchy and often conflicting.
Shrewdly and diplomatically Boris won the favor of Ivan the Terrible.
During the reign of Ivan's son, Fedor, married to Boris' sister, Boris was the
power -behind the throne. Quietly he set the stage for his own election to the
tzardom. He had his friends elected to advantageous offices; created, through.
Fedor, a Patriarchate; won the goodwill of (he masses; and had Dimitry,
illegitimate son of Ivan, murdered-at least the facts pointed in his direction-
and the affair hushed up immediately. At Fedor's death Boris was elected Tzar,
but with complete control within his grasp his courage and ambition failed. His
many spies brought home reports which threw him into a panic. He was super-
stitious, suspicious, and too much given to consulting sorcerers. Famine spread
through the land and Boris believed the hand of God was against hila. Then
a young man appeared, claiming to be Dimitry, and the Russians flocked to his
standard. Boris' son was deserted and he and his mother were strangled. Dimitry
was crowned tzar amid much rejoicing. Three months later he was murdered.
Why did Boris fail at the crucial time in his career? Who knows?
A STUDY IN ENGLISH POLITICS
THE EDWARDIAN ERA, by Andre Maurois.
A decade of great interest in European history for the various seeds of
future events which were sown at that time. M. Maurois is most interested in the.
political and diplomatic affairs of the period, but comments also on its social and
literary aspects. It is however as a very clever painter of portraits and amusing
anecdotist that M. Maurois excels. He begins with a masterly sketch of Victoria,
"at once the Queen of England, Empress of India, and a simple, painstaking
grandmother", and shows the result of her long dominance. Then came King
Edward, with his friendly charm and his liking for Paris which eventually led
to the Entente Cordiale. Besides these two, brilliant sketches of English states-
men, Lord Salisbury, Lord Rosebery, Sir Edward Grey, etc., and an excellent
characterization of Emperor William, form the best material in the book. They
show too how much the destiny of Europe depends upon the personality of
FOR HUMAN DYNAMOS
MORE POWER TO YOU, by Walter B. Pitkin.
This book is being widely advertised and people are "eating it up", for the
subject of improving ourselves mentally and physically is perennially interesting.
The question is whether the reader will take the trouble to work out for him.-
self a plan of living founded on the rather complicated formulas set down here.
Would he even be wise in doing so? We question a good many of the author's
conclusions, and suspect that others have been known and practised for a few
thousand years. For instance, we know that chopping wood is a better outlet
for pent-up energies than learning Spanish, and that tidying up one's desk is
a good method of wa\lming up for work. Nevertheless if your power plant
needs a little renovation you may find here some helpful suggestions.
JOURNEY OF THE FLAME, by Antonio de Fierro Blanco.
"It is an old custom that when one reaches a hundred years of age he
must recite to his guests on his birthday, all he remembers of his life." Don Juan
Obrigon, known as Juan Colorado or The Flame, obliges his guests by the tale
of the journey he made in 181o, when as a boy of twelve he joined the train of
the Spanish Inspector General, Don Firmin Sanhudo. This tour went from
the southern tip of lower California to San Francisco, stopping at the old
missions, fighting Indians and travelling for the most part over mountains or
through desert country. Primitive, cruel and vigorous, Don Juan makes a grand
story of his adventures and the part he played in them, enriching it all in the
telling with original asides from the wisdom he has gained in his one hundred
years. It is an unusual book, partly historical, partly imaginative, which gives
very well the charm of that early period.
PETER ABELARD, by Helen Waddell.
The old tragic love story of Heloise and Abelard told again with sympathy
and imagination by an English scholar of the medieval period. Miss Waddell's
knowledge of the times is not emphasized with the wealth of detail George Moore
loved in his great novel of the same characters. But Paris, "queen among cities,
moon among stars"; the great churchman, Geoffrey of Chartres; Bernard of
Clairvaux; one fine imaginary character, Gilles de Vannes, Canon of Notre
Dame, whose mellow wisdom is so great; and the contemporary life, are seen
most vividly. It is almost (more of a psychological novel than an historical one
however when it concerns Abelard and Heloise. They are lovers of any period
trapped by the ideas and prejudices of the time.
One of the most delightful features of this novel is Miss Waddell's lovely
translations of Latin lyrics and songs which were then on men's tongues, and
which she previously published in her "Medieval Lyrics".
SEA WALL, by L. A. G. Strong.
A word portrait of Nicky D'Olier, a charming, thoughtful Irish boy who
loved to fish from the sea wall near his home on Dublin Bay. The sea wall
was the only dependable thing in his life. The Doctor, the "Duchess", and his
own erratic parents were riddles that he could not solve until he had returned
from the war, a grown man, to pick up the fragments of life and try to fit
them into a liveable design.