THE LIBRARY LANTERN
Published monthly from October to June bye lb
Hamilton Smith Library, of the Unirty, ,->
of New Hampshire /'' '
Entered as second-class matter Octboer 10, 1927, at the post office r m, New Hampshire, ujder the
act of August 24, 1912. f
Vol. 12 APRIL, 1937 ., 4 7
THE SHOW IS O
THE HUMAN COMEDY, by James Harvey Robinson. .. ><
This posthumous volume from one of the most civilized and civilizing minds
of our time treats of history as an introduction to the present. It is not what
things are, but how they came about, that is important, for historical knowledge
liberates us from the tyranny of convention which hangs so heavily over all our
institutions. Dr. Robinson traces the history of man from its beginnings down
to the present, showing what ideas originated from time to time and how their
consequences linger. For instance, reliance on authority and tradition is a med-
ieval habit, dragging at the wheels of scientific advancement. Another medieval
idea, the search for an elixir of life, motivates our convictions of suppressed worth.
and accounts for the occurrence of the books on self-improvement at the top of
today's best-seller lists. We have much besides this to learn from the Middle
Ages: what success did the Inquisition really have in quelling thought? The an-
swer could well be memorized by today's Redhunters.
In short, there is a tremendous cultural lag. We have the means of producing
a civilization that would make all the Utopian dreams of the past look pale, but
we are held back by what we have failed to learn from history. Learning, in
fact, as distinguished from "being taught" (which is all that happens to most
of our school and college students) is the only activity which can liberate us.
Ever learning from the past, we are spectators of the human comedy. The out-
come of that drama will depend on how successfully we learn.
BORN ON BEACON HILL
THE LATE GEORGE APLEY, by John P. Marquand.
Santayana wrote The Last Puritan and called it "a memoir in the form of a
novel." Marquand calls this "a novel in the form of a memoir", and might well
have plagiarized the former's title, for George Apley is a Puritan and in some
senses the last one. Puritans there will always be, but the generation that pro-
duced George Apley is fast dying out. It was a generation in which loyalty was
one of the strongest emotions, and the Apleys of Beacon Hill had much to be
loyal to-Boston, Harvard, their social class, their clubs, their family, and run-
ning through all of these, their responsibilities. We smile, as the author means
us to, when he takes us behind the defences which these people have set up, and
we wonder, in these days of individualism, how men could have been so ready to
sacrifice themselves for the sake of the group. Yet there is something splendid
and admirable in the standards which they maintained, and if they could not per-
petuate their world it was through no fault of their own. This novel is a biography
in a very real sense, the biography of a class, and reveals with humour and suavity
what is used to mean to be born on Beacon Hill.
It 49 JL
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A ROSTER OF HOME TALENT
THE AMERICAN SINGER, by Oscar Thompson.
Contrary to a widespread belief, the American operatic stages is not peopled
exclusively by foreigners, as a perusal of this book will prove. The author in-
cludes as American singers those who came to this country in childhood and had
most of their training and career here. Adding this group to those of native
birth, we have a really impressive company of fine voices which have graced our
operatic stage for more than a hundred years. The singers are discussed in more
or less chronological order, with full biographical details, especially concerning
their careers. This is a valuable contribution to the history of opera in America,
as well as a useful reference work for information about contemporary stars.
DE' MEDICI AND THE REFORMATION
CATHERINE DE' MEDICI . ., by Ralph Roeder.
Roeder has chosen to write Catherine's life as it merges with the Reformation.
Her uncles, the two Medici Popes, augmented and precipitated the Reformation
and Catherine, a child of the times, was caught in the swirl of events and swept
headlong against the rising tide of Lutheranism. In trying to stem the deluge it
was inevitable that she should fail. Roeder's interpretations give a fine under-
standing of the times and the part Catherine played. One can not help feeling
considerable sympathy for the Italian girl of poor health, married at fourteen to
the future dauphin, and thus plunged into court intrigue and religious disturbances.
THE INVADERS, by Stuart David Engstrand.
A combination of personal, farm and labor problems presented in a fresh
manner. The first half of the book is mostly concerned with the story of Fred,
a young truck farmer who passionately loves his twenty acres and will not leave
them for a city job when urged to do so by his city-bred wife, Miriam. Fred's
mother is a hard-working farm woman who feels the same overwhelming desire
to make the land yield a living. Miriam who is not happy on the farm, goes
to work in the nearby canning factory. The second half of the book deals with
a price war between the farmers and the owners of the cannery. Hart, a former
,economics teacher, organizes the farmers who eventually form a co-operative union
and win their battle against the factory owners. The personal tangle ensues when
Hart and Miriam fall in love. The story is well-written, contains beautiful de-
scription, and the theme is a timely one.
BUSMAN'S HONEYMOON, by Dorothy L. Sayers.
Those of us who have read Dorothy Sayers' earlier mystery stories are well-
acquainted with the main characters of this one: Harriet Vane, a writer of mystery
stories; Lord Peter Wimsey, a combination diplomat, solver of mysteries and man
.about town; and, W\imsey's famous valet, Bunter. Harriet and Lord Peter are
married and go into the country on their honeymoon. The first few chapters are
-particularly good honeymoon material, but suddenly someone stumbles over a
,corpse in the cellar. There follows much mental agitation on the part of the
three above-mentioned people, joined, of course, by the press and local police.
Superintendent Kirk, in charge of the case, is a rare treat for Lord Peter; one who
can not only place Wimsey's too apt quotations, but toss others back as easily-
he reads for relaxation. Wimsey does discover who bashed the man on the head
and the honeymooners go to Spain-with their fingers crossed probably.
CITIES OF REFUGE, by Philip Gibbs.
In telling the story of the flight of non-combatants with Wrangel's White
Russian army to the sea, of their mad striving to escape by boat, of their sub-
sequent desolation and wanderings from one city and country to another, Gibbs
has made a plea for peace more powerful than is to be found in most war stories.
COAST GUARD TO THE RESCUE, by Karl Baarslag.
The Coast Guard book of regulations states in no uncertain terms, "You must
go out". What a slogan this is: no instructions are given for coming back! The
Coast Guard is composed of men of great courage and daring who do their work
without publicity or glory. The variety of work done is rather astonishing. For
example, incidents in one day's work of the service, as recounted by Baarslag, in-
cluded: patrolling the shipping lanes to warn of ice, spotting a smuggler's base
in Florida, patrolling the return of the seals to Alaska, making rescues in the
Great Lakes and on the flooded Mississippi, breaking through ice to carry the mail
to Point Barrow, Alaska, flying out to sea to bring an injured sailor to the hos-
pital, rescuing an injured airpilot from his wrecked plane, destroying a derelict
in the Gulf of Mexico. The book is a thrilling narrative of courage, romance, and
devotion to duty. Well illustrated with official photographs.
MAINE' S INTERPRETER
SALTWATER FARM, by Robert Tristram Coffin.
"A thing of beauty is a joy forever." To Mr. Coffin everything in nature
viewed in the proper light is beautiful, most of all the marshes and rude coastline
of his native Maine. Previously Mr. Coffin's characters have been, for the most
part, members of his immediate family. However, this series of poems contains
more about his neighbors and friends. He describes his state throughout the
seasons and tells of its influence upon the life of its people. One finds humor,
pathos and beauty in his lines. Here in Durham recently Mr. Coffin spoke of
this book, telling his reason for choosing its title: Maine is the only New England
state that has farms extending right down to the edge of the ocean.
Wingless Victory is the tale of a Malayan Princess brought to stuffy Salem
by her Yankee husband at the beginning of the 19th century. The racial antipathy
which she encounters raises an impervious shadow between her and her husband,
which leads her to kill her children and herself.
High Tor is distinctly different from anything else which Anderson has written.
It is a combination of fantasy, farce and poetry. The characters are gangsters,
money-grubbing politicians, and the ghosts of some of the crew who came up the
Hudson in the Half Moon three hundred years ago; this variety of characters
is surprisingly well incorporated to make a play of unusual quality. One of the
most touching scenes is between Van, the boy who owns High Tor and the phan-
tom of the Dutch lady who had sailed on the Half Moon. Maxwell Anderson has
been most prolific in bringing back to the American stage the richness of poetical
drama. His versatility in subject and in mood is amazing.
NEW FIELDS TO CONQUER
FORTY CENTURIES LOOK DOWN, by F. Britten Austin.
While in The Road to Glory we have Austin's novel of Napoleon and his first
Italian campaign, here we have Napoleon in his Egyptian enterprise. A novel
in the sense that it is written from the very intimate and personal viewpoint of
Napoleon and Josephine, it is history in that the facts are historically correct;
military affairs and tactics are particularly well handled. There are several new
interpretations of events, based on evidence, which add piquancy to the ever chal-
A MICHIGAN FARM IN THE SEVENTIES
COUNTRY KITCHEN, by Della Thompson Lutes.
Always there is some reader begging for "a book to read aloud to Mother."
Mrs. Lutes' book with its gay checkered cover is just this type of book. In fact,
anyone reading it will be inclined to break out frequently with "just listen to this,"
or "doesn't this make your mouth water ?" For not only does the author describe
her childhood in which the kitchen played such an important part, but she includes
actual recipes. Her father was a domineering man, peevish when he did not get
his own way, but her mother knew how to get along with him. Many a divorce
has been granted on ground less serious than the skunk episode. Some of the
chapters have appeared in the Atlantic.
BELOVED FRIEND, by Catherine Drinker Bowen and Barbara von Meck.
These letters of Peter Tchaikowsky and his patroness, Nadejda von Meek,
are cleverly woven together giving us a connected biography of the great musical
genius. Their love was stranger than fiction for they never met. Thirteen years
or more their love flourished and Nadejda was the essence of sympathetic under-
standing and passionate devotion. Suddenly, inexplicably her letters ceased and
Peter was left irrevocably disillusioned. For years to come, hearts will thrill to
the music of the immortal Fourth Sympathy which bore the simple dedication "To
My Friend." Barbara von Meck is the wife of Nadejda's favorite grandson. Nade-
jda was a widow with twelve children when the strange friendship began.
KIPLING'S OWN STORY
SOMETHING OF MYSELF, by Rudyard Kipling.
Kipling wrote his autobiography shortly before his death. The title is exact,
for he tells us very little about himself except in connection with the source of
his plots and his journalistic apprenticeship. No doubt his friendly "daemon"
impelled his reticence, and it is refreshing to find an author who does not feel
impelled to drag out his personal hates and agonies for the world to gloat over.
The final chapter Working Tools is of special interest to anyone who writes, ama-
teur or professional.
HERE'S TO CRIME, by Courtney Riley Cooper.
Crime does pay, in dollars and cents. It is the largest and best paying single
industry in America, and statistics prove that it touches, or will touch in some way,
the lives of three quarters of our population. This is a challenging book; it is
by no means a beautiful one to read. Indeed, Mr. Cooper goes out of his way
to paint a disgusting picture of the sordidness and viscousness of organized crime.
THE SOUND OF RUNNING FEET, by Josephine Lawrence.
VIEWED WITHOUT ALARM, by Walter Millis.
PHOTOGRAPHY, by C. E. Kenneth Mees.
PUSHKIN, by Ernest J. Simmons.
THE WORKS OF ALEXANDER PUSHKIN.
NEW ENGLAND SHORT STORIES.
TALES OF AN EMPTY CABIN, by Grey Owl.
There will be on display in the library, April 5-24, an exhibit of a seletced
group of 36 watercolors from the Royal Scottish Society of Painters of Water-
colors, sponsored by the College Art Association. Negotiations are under way for
another exhibition to follow immediately, A Survey of Painting, consisting of 75