THE LIBRARY L
Published monthly from October to June
Hamilton Smith Library, of the Unive
of New Hampshire f
Entered as second-class matter October 10, 1927, at the post office at Durham. New Hampshire.
under the act of August 24, 1912
Vol. Io DECEMBER, 1934 No. 3
RUSSIA'S IRON AGE, by WVilliam Henry Chamberlin.
As correspondent in Moscow for the Christian Science Monitor for twelve
years, Mr. Chamberlin has had unusual opportunities for observing the Soviet
regime. He is now leaving Russia for a new post and feels that he can supplement
his earlier book Soviet Russia with the whole truth as he could not while still living
in Moscow. In 1922 he entered Russia with enthusiastic hopes for communism
and he leaves with a sober knowledge of its actual working. Not that he is blind
to many of the achievements of the Soviets-"the spread of education among the
masses, the promotion of health and recreation, their policy of absolute non-dis-
crimination among nationalities, and the strides made in industrial construction.
Unfortunately the reverse side tragically overbalances the brighter picture. Aside
from the poverty and inequality in material goods, there is the permanent and
odious system of terrorism and espionage. There is the decimation of the intelli-
gentsia. There is the subjection of the peasantry to wholesale deportation and to
a military feudal exploitation that reached its terrible and inevitable climax in the
great famine of 1932-1933." This is perhaps the most impartial and inclusive
study of Soviet Russia that can be obtained at the present time.
SAGA OF SAINTS, by Sigrid Undset.
Sigrid Undset has an amazing knowledge of medieval Norway, and love for the
Christian traditions and memories of her country, "this little strip of land which
steals along close under the over-powering mountains." She retells the stories of
many Scandinavian saints with whom the rest of the world is largely unfamiliar.
Hallvard, Magnus of the Orkney Islands, St. Eystein who made a pilgrimage to
the shrine of St. Thomas a Becket, Thorfin and Olav Haraldsson stand out among
a host of others. Their lives are not told as tales of far-off things but are imagi-
natively shown as events that might have happened yesterday with men facing
problems that are fundamentally the same today.
DRAMATIZATION OF A DREAM
AMARANTH, by Edwin Arlington Robinson.
To those who live in the wrong world, attempting to be poets, artists, musi-
cians when they are not, comes Amaranth, a man named after the flower that never
fades. In a dream-world, Fargo the artist meets his fellow-companions Evensong,
Pink the Poet, Atlas, Elaine Amelia Watchman, the writer, and her cat Ampersand.
They are lost souls refusing to listen until too late to Amaranth and the truth
about themselves. It is Fargo alone who escapes into the living world again, free
from his own delusions of greatness. It is an unusual poem with rare lines of
beauty but with very little of Mr. Robinson's earlier lyrical intensity.
. IO. 10 .
"AH! HAPPY YEARS!"
LOST PARADISE, by Robert Peter Tristram Coffin.
Lost Paradise is the autobiography of Peter (really Mr. Coffin himself) writ-
ten from the view point an of an eleven year old boy, who has left his dearly loved
farm to live with his older sister and brother in the town where they all attend
school. Once Peter fails to get home for the week-end and, during the two weeks
he remains in town, he remembers all the things he can about his Maine coast farm.
Peter loves all nature and can not only see it, but feel it and describe it; as a result,
his prose is sheer poetry. This is a romantic book, rich in humor and abounding
in descriptions of persons who are truly "characters." Peter knows only too well
that there are bound to be changes in life and he senses that he must soon leave his
farm and all that it means to him. It is this sense of impending change which give.
the book a deeper quality that one finds in the average story of a happy boyhood.
"BALLADS THAT I GOT TO HEAR"
AMERICAN BALLADS AND FOLK SONGS, by John and Alan Lomax.
John Lomax has undoubtedly done more than any other person to bring to-
gether extant American folk songs, and a life's work is evident in this book which
contains twenty-five sections of various types of songs expressing in words and
music the tears and laughter of the best examples of the most noteworthy types of
folk songs for what the tunes may be worth as music and the words as literature.
That our folk songs are being appreciated has been evident by the recent popularity
of songs such as Home on the Range, and The Man on the Flying Trapeze, both of
which for many years were unnoticed. Among the types of songs included are
cowboy, negro blues, spirituals, chain-gang, white desperadoes, play-party, Va-
queros of the Southwest, and Creole songs. The music given in the collection
consists of the airs only.
THE SCOTLAND OF OUR FATHERS, by Elizabeth Haldane.
The author graphically presents Scotland of the nineteenth century from a
social and economic viewpoint. We see the people in their homes, the slow rise of
the middle classes, and the new significance of agriculture. Calvinistic Presby-
terianism with its rigid code was the accepted religion. Accustomed as we are to
the beautiful organ music of modern churches, it is amusing and almost incredible
to read of the indignation which Dr. Ritchie aroused in St. Anthony's Church,
Glasgow, in 1807 by having a small organ played on Sunday. The Scots have a
passion for education which may explain the progress they have made in this field
under adverse conditions. The final chapter on The Highlands and the Highlanders
is especially interesting to anyone acquainted with the descendents of the evicted
THE WHITE REEF, by Martha Ostenso.
Protected from the 'Pacific by the White Reef where the ghosts of Spanish
sailors dance at night, Heartbreak Cove is not the peaceful little fishing village it
might appear. Love, hate, scheming and tragedy pay a large part in the lives oi
these fisherfolk. With a will as resolute as the rock of White Reef, Nona Darnell
returns to the Cove after running away with Quentin Wingate and faces the
prying persecution of the villagers. Here she pours out her love upon little
Si, believing that she hates his father. Wingate returns to redeem his father's
dqbts and life become increasingly difficult for Nona. Always there is Ivar, but
Nona blindly realizes that her happiness does not rest with him and bides her time.
THE STORMY LIFE OF A GENIUS
LUST FOR LIFE, by Irving Stone.
In fictionized form Irving Stone has written a gripping biography of Vincent
Van Gogh, the man who failed in three professions before he became one of the
greatest of modern painters. Here is the key to the understanding of his works,
which look so queer the first time one sees them. Never again can the reader look at
those pictures and fail to be moved by the vigorous brush strokes, the intense clash-
ing colours, the vivid designs that Van Gogh wrought out of the pain and torture
which the world inflicted on him. Ugly and awkward, unlucky in love, he was
the target for scorn and ridicule until the blinding Arlesian sun and the explosive
Arlesian people drove himi mad. The love between him and his brother Theo was
the one beneficient influence in his life, but even Theo could not protect him from
the world and from himself.
There are many fine scenes in the book, such as the one in the Belgian coal
fields, where Van Gogh went to preach the gospel and found such misery that he
came out an atheist. Life among the artists of Paris is gay, quarrelsome, enthusi-
astic, as Seurat, Cezanne, Gauguin, and others of the period, gather with the Van
Gough brothers to fight over their theories until the furniture is in fragments.
While the dialogue is of course imagined and a few technical liberties have been
taken, the book is essentially true to fact.
A PAINTER OF LIGHT
CLAUDE MONET AND HIS GARDEN, by Stephen Gwynn.
Claude Monet, who more than any other artist brought light and atmosphere
into painting, is here presented at the scene of his inspiration-his garden at Giv-
erny. Though poor in his youth he received recognition in time to profit by it, and
was able at 43 to purchase a home in Normandy. Here, in addition to his painting,
his artistic nature found outlet in the creation of a garden. The water-lily pool
was his greatest joy; he painted it at all times of day and under all conditions of
light. A frequent visitor to its side was Clemenceau, who discussed painting and
affairs of state with Monet, and whose support was chiefly responsible for the pop-
ular recognition of his work. The book has many charming views of the garden,
photographs both from nature and of Monet's work.
WAR SHATTERED EVEN A HORSE'S WORLD
FLORIAN, THE EMPEROR'S STALLION, by Felix Salten.
Those who live animals, especially horses and dogs, will be deeply stirred by
this story of Florian, the flawless white stallion, of Bosco, his fox-terrier friend,
and of Anton, the simple peasant who found complete happiness in the self-effacing
service of them both. Florian was born of a long line of regal forbears; he learned
to love the smell of wet grass and the softness of the turf beneath his flying hoofs
before he was taken to the Spanish Riding School in Vienna to be trained for the
Emperor's service. There before Franz Josef he performed his dances with almost
human understanding of his rider's demands, while the Archduke Franz Ferdinand
looked on, fuming with impatience for the crown which he was never to wear.
Then came the war, with hunger and loss for Florian, but he never betrayed his
There is an allegory here that is also deeply moving, but perhaps most readers
will respond chiefly to the beautiful personality that Felix Salten has created in
the shape of a high-born horse.
"OH, WHAT A SHINING TOWN WERE DEATH"
WINE FROM THESE GRAPES, by Edna St. Vincent Millay.
Miss Millay's principal theme in her latest volume is a meditation on death-
both for the individual and for the race. "Childhood is the kingdom where nobody
dies," and "I shall die, but that is all that I shall do for Death" express her per-
sonal philosophy and are among the best poems in the book. Some of the sonnets
in the section "Epitaph for the Race of Mian" are excellent but the volume as a
whole is not quite as distinguished as one might hope.
VAMPIRES MAMBAS ET AL
CONFESSIONS OF A SCIENTIST, by Raymond L. Ditniars.
Dr. Ditmars here draws -on his great store of experiences and confesses to
some of the inner details of his work. The book is packed with highly dramatic
anecdotes, interesting habits of strange creatures, and odd bits of information
gleaned from his easy-flowing fund of reminiscences. Among other things, he
reveals that the vampire bat is not a blood sucking creature, as has long been
popularly supposed, but drinks with a swift lapping motion of its tongue; that the
snake, popularly supposed to bask for hours in mid-sunmmer heat, must use caution
when taking its sunbath, as it promptly dies when its highly susceptible body is
heated to a temperature of 115 degrees. The highlight of the book is the story of
the capture and the exhibition of a vampire bat for the first time in any zoo in the
world. Illustrations are striking but not conducive to good slumber.
OTHER NEW BOOKS JUST RECEIVED
CANDY, by L. M. Alexander.
"The story of Candy, who refused to marry her men because she could hold
them better through love, without legal ties." The lure of Harlem draws the
negroes with resulting disruption of life on the plantation. A $1o,ooo prize novel.
PATTERNS OF CULTURE, by Ruth Benedict.
In an analysis of three contrasting primitive civilizations the author seeks to
point out how custom and tradition influence and shape our behavior and culture.
AMERICA'S HOUR OF DECISION, by Glenn Frank.
Dr. Frank discusses sanely and frankly the issues which arise out of a question
uppermost in the minds of thinking Americans of today: "Can we ride the storm,
and make the revisions of political and economic policy which the effective opera-
tion of an age of plenty requires, without subjugating the American order of
private enterprise and political liberty to subversive changes that may bring ulti-
mate ruin in the wake of a delusive recovery?"
PEACE WITH HONOUR, by A. A. Milne.
A stinging attack on the tragedy and futility of war by a distinguished English
dramatist and essayist.
THE EVE OF CONFLICT. by George F. Milton.
A carefully documented biography of the "Little Giant," Stephen A. Douglas,
which shows that the Civil War was a politicians' war which might have been
CITY EDITOR, by Stanley Walker.
An extremely interesting and stimulating study of newspapers and newspaper
life of today and yesterday with a generous helping of anecdotes.
NEW FRONTIERS, by Henry A. Wallace.
R. E. LEE, A BIOGRAPHY, by Douglas S. Freeman.
The first two volumes of this definitive biography, which will undoubtedly
remain the standard work on Lee for years to come, have been received. The final
two volumes will be published in the spring of 1935. Despite its length it makes
very interesting reading.