THE LIBRARY L ..NTE.
Published monthly from October to June 'by the
Hamilton Smith Library, of the i~!iiversity
of New Hampshire
Entered as second-class matter October 10, 1927, at the post office at Durh~ ,'s New 'iampsiirunder the
act of August 24, 1912.
Vol. 14 MAY, 1939 No. 8
DECADENT NEW ENGLAND?
WICKFORD POINT, by John P. Marquand.
Decadent New England may be novelized by its autochthones, but after this
piece of satire it will be a brave outsider who attempts the task. Foyr Marquand
treats with stinging scorn those who come to Harvard from remote parts of the
country, learn all its affectations, and think they understand New England. The
character who represents this type is writing a very bad novel about the Wickford
valley, which is the old home of the narrator of the story, Jim Calder. He is a
relation of the Brills of Wickford Point, and the only member of the family who
has escaped the strangling effects of the traditions of the old home. Through his
eyes we see Cousin Clothilde, whose bank account is always overdrawn, Bella, who
takes away all her sister's boy friends, Harry, who met all the right people at
Harvard but can't get a job, and the rest of the family, to say nothing of the ever
unpaid servants. Each member of the family complains "I have to do everything
for everybody", but in reality nobody does anything, so the roof continues to leak,
the front door to stick, the chairs to fall to pieces, while Sid siphons the gas out
of Jim's car. The biting satire in which most of the characters are drawn is
less kind than that of The Late George Apley, who was something of an old dear
after all. In this Cousin Clothilde might be called an old dear in spite of her
incompetence, but the rest of the family are pretty poisonous, though excruciating-
ly funny. The portrayal of character is masterly.
"THE EVIL THAT WE DO"
AMERICAN EARTH, by Carleton Beals.
The subtitle of this book, The Biography of a Nation, aptly describes it, but
we must keep in mind the fact that Mr. Beals is a reporter, not an historian. He
briefly reviews our arrival in this country abounding with fish and game, rich
earth and mighty forests. What have we done? Like a plague of locusts we have
settled, slowly exterminating the original owners, sapping the land of its richness.
Granted that the author unleashes his righteous indignation, no amount of ostrich
aping will remove from our doors the seriousness of our reckless deforestation, our
race problem, share croppers, the deplorable conditions common to that army of
"Migs" who follow the crop cycles in the South and West. His chapter on Louisi-
ana has some startling information about the fur trappers and the present situation
they are facing. Oddly enough, this state has a fur output greater than Canada
and Alaska combined. These and other dark spots need the attention of the
whole country and even if you do not always agree with Mr. Beals, we guarantee
that this book will do some much-needed stirring up and possibly keep us from
committing greater sins against this earth of ours.
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DEUTSCHLAND UBER ALLIES?
REACHING FOR THE STARS, by Nora Waln.
With all the gentle friendliness of the Quakers and the acquired calmness of
the Chinese with whom she has lived for many years, Nora Waln has sought to
know the German people and to understand their acceptance of what appears to
us to be a thoroughly tyrannical government.
Between the years 1934 and 1938 she visited friends and acquaintances all
over the country and to all she listened carefully. They told her freely what their
Fuhrer is doing for them: giving them work and food, and best of all, their self-
respect lost at Versailles. Although for the most part they support the govern-
ment even in its crime of arrests without charge, there is always an undercurrent of
fear as to where the whole plan will end. In neighboring countries (before 1937)
the fear was greater and much more openly expressed. There is always in Ger-
many the grim reality of suspicion and fear behind the outward appearances of
calm. This book presents a fine, open account of the German people and leaves
one with a feeling not of resentment but of pity. It is highly recommended.
E PLURIBUS UNUM
THE TREE OF LIBERTY, by Elizabeth Page.
The vitality of the historical novel in America is witnessed by this stirring
tale of revolutionary times. Three generations of the Howard family provide the
fictional framework: Matthew Howard, born and bred on the frontier, fighting
all his life for the rights of the common man; Jane, his wife, born to privilege and
tradition and determined that these shall endure; their children and grandchildren,
battleground of this conflict between the parents. Carried down through the
years and motivating all the characters, this conflict with all its bitterness does not
overshadow its protagonists. The people are as vivid as if one met them on the
street or observed them from an adjoining table in a Williamsburg tavern. This is
a superb piece of character drawing. In addition, three historical figures take part
in the action, Jefferson, Washington, and Hamilton, with others such as Patrick
Henry, Monroe and Madison, in incidental appearance. Always in the background
is the question whether the forces of dissension will yield to the vision of a strong.
united, and expanding nation. When we follow Matthew and Jane to Ohio and
leave them with their toddling great-grandchild, we know that union and democracy
"THE VALIANT NEVER TASTE OF DEATH BUT ONCE"
ADMIRAL DEATH; Twelve Adventures of Men Against the Sea, by Hanson
"Cowards die many times before their death, the valiant never taste of death
but once." Here are grim tales of sea disasters but magnificent records of hero-
ism, obedience and endurance. These narratives tell of the Jeannette and pack ice,
the Medusa and sandbars, the Saginaw and a coral reef, the Japanese submarine
Number 6 and faulty mechanism, the Victoria and bad judgment, the Lusitania and
submarines, the Titanic and icebergs; there are also other tales of mutiny and re-
volt. Destruction was sometimes unavoidable and in other cases due to gross care-
lessness. All the tragedies are told with a direct swiftness which gives them life
THE DEATH OF THE HEART, by Elizabeth Bowen.
Is this novel "the despair of the English middle class" as one critic says? It
is a smooth psychological novel of high literary merit, but it is tragic and may
even be repugnant to some. To Portia Quayne at sixteen, disillusionment comes
hard just when she feels life should lead somewhere.
EAST OF SUEZ
THE PATRIOT, by Pearl Buck.
Pearl Buck has returned to the Orient for the setting of this new novel after
her American novel This Proud Heart. Although less real in its picture of
Chinese life than her other books, it is more timely with its clear delineation of the
characteristic differences between the Chinese and the Japanese people of the mid-
dle class. The central figure, I-wan, son of a Shanghai banker, joins the revolu-
tionary party in revolt against the conventions of his solid middle class family.
When the revolutionists are betrayed I-wan's father uses his influence to save
his son. I-wan is sent to Japan where he spends ten years, during which time
Japan takes Manchuria and starts her conquest of China. Mrs. Buck shows clearly
the order and unity of the Japanese in contrast to the disorder and disunity of the
vast numbers in China.
She leaves the story with a semblance of unity appearing in the Chinese
masses under the leadership of Generalissimo Chaing-Kai-Shek. But one wonders
if unity has come too late?
THE DRAGON WAKES, by Edgar A. Mowrer.
A capable newspaper correspondent who spent several weeks in China, inter-
viewed hundreds of people from Chiang Kai-Shek and T. V. Soong down, visited
an actual battle front, and was keenly observant wherever he went, should be
able to write intelligently and interestingly of his experiences. Such a book is this
report from China. Although admittedly in sympathy with the Chinese, Mr. Mow-
rer's estimates are fair and rational. He concludes that China will emerge vic-
torious from the struggle, partly because of the fact that Japan is actually less well
prepared and efficient than is generally thought, and partly because of the tre-
mendous nationalistic feeling that is sweeping over China, rallying all to the
defense of the country as never before.
RACE PREJUDICE IN VERMONT
SEASONED TIMER, by Dorothy Canfield Fisher.
T. C. Hulme, principal of an old but impoverished Vermont Academy, while
opening his mail one afternoon, is startled first into silence and then rage by a
message from a New York lawyer. The will of an Academy trustee has just been
probated, with the discovery that a very large sum of money is to go to the Acad-
emy under certain provisions. The most important of these is the permanent ex-
clusion of Jewish students. Mr. Hulme (and Mrs. Canfield) holding that such
differentiation is traitorous to American ideals and Vermont traditions, firmly
and actively opposes the acceptance of the bequest. The climax comes with the
election of a new trustee who casts the ballot which determines the future policy
of the school. Through her outspoken, courageous, idealistic hero, Mrs. Canfield
clearly delivers her message to America on this all important problem of race
THE LAND IS BRIGHT, by Archie Binns.
Here is another story of the Oregon trek of 1850; a powerful bit of history
translated into living, moving narrative where the characters are individuals meet-
ing danger and hardship with characteristic reactions; a story that moves as surely
and steadily as the caravan itself. Surely the amount of suffering and determina-
tion which went into our westward thrust shows the grit in our pioneer an-
AN UNUSUAL LETTER FILE
LETTERS TO CHILDREN, compiled by Eva G. Connor.
The inspiration for this unique collection was a letter written by John Ruskin
to a little girl. Delighted by the discovery of this, Mrs. Connor decided that it
was worthy of being more generally known. With this as a starting point, she
set out to make an anthology of letters which had been written to young people.
Chaucer's letter to his ten year old son Lewis which begins "Littel Lowys my sone"
is the earliest included and the most scholarly. From English reigning families,
Catherine of Aragon, James I and Charles I are quoted, and continental royalty
is represented by Philip II of Spain and Henry IV of France. Among the most
delightful is a missive to little Hans Luther from his famous father, the German
reformer; an amusing note is struck by Mrs. Nathaniel Hawthorne who, in a
message to her nine year old son, adds this postscript, "When you see any spots
on your clothes, be sure and ask some one to wash them off for you." Parental
messages of good advice, friendly notes from celebrities to childish admirers, simple
home letters giving the news of the family, and many other types are included, and
each is charming in its own way.
HEROES IN THE FAITH
GREAT CATHOLICS, edited by Claude Williamson.
This book contains a wide and varied collection of studies about many per-
sons whose lives have been intimately connected with the Catholic Church. Be-
ginning with Paul, the Apostle, the sketches-some character studies, others short
biographical sketches-range through the years to end with a study of Cardinal
Hayes of New York. Some, possibly so well-known that it may be assumed
that the reader is acquainted with them already, are omitted, notably St. Francis
of Assisi and Joan of Arc. In place of these, however, the lay reader is intro-
duced to many less widely known. In all the sketches the central theme is the
power and inspiration of the Church in the lives of its famous people.
THE GEOLOGY OF NEW HAMPSHIRE
THE GEOLOGY OF MT. CHOCORUA QUADRANGLE.
THE GEOLOGY OF MT. CUBE AND MASCOMA QUADRANGLES.
These two pamphlets issued by the State Planning and Development Commis-
sion, contain excellent geological surveys of the sections of New Hampshire men-
tioned in their titles. They discuss such matters as landscape, geological history,
waterfalls, mountains, and useful minerals, and they are accompanied by revealing
charts and maps. These pamphlets are designed to serve the purpose of helping
New Hampshire residents to know their own state and realize its possibilities, and
also to acquaint strangers with the attractiveness and economic resources of this
region-all through the medium of geolgy. It is interesting to note among the
names of the geologists who prepared these surveys, the name of Carleton Chapman,
a graduate of the University of New Hampshire with the class of 1933. These
valuable little books will be distributed for a small sum to those applying to the
Commission in Concord.
OPENING OF THE ART DIVISION
The new Art Division on the second floor of the Library will hold open house
at the following hours, featuring an exhibit of student art work until May 18th.
Friday, May 5th, 2-9 P. M.
Saturday, May 6th, 9-12 A. M., 2-9 P. M.
Sunday, May 7th, 2-9 P. M.
From Monday, May 8th on, it will he open for the use of the students.