THE LIBRARY LAIIERm
Published monthly from October to June by 'e...
Hamilton Smith Library, of the Univers rar
of New Hampshire
Entered as second-class matter October 10, 1927, at the post office at Durham, Ne
act of August 24, 1912.
Vol. 14 JUNE, 1939 '
LAND OF PLENTY?
THE GRAPES OF WRATH, by John Steinbeck.
In six hundred pages Steinbeck has painted the misery of the victims of our
economic confusion. It is a picture which, once realized, cannot be forgotten by
anyone who sits down to a square meal. There is much that is unpleasant, but
it is so integrally a part of the picture that it could not be left out by a conscien-
tious artist. And Steinbeck is an artist. His prose is Biblical at times, poetic,
Gothic at others, as when he describes the little house abandoned to the mice and
bats, the rain and weeds and winds, when the Joads join the trek to California. It
is not choice, but a monster called Property, that forces them off the land which
has always seemed a part of them. With thousands of other homeless and penni-
less families they set out for the promise of work for all. In squalid camps friend-
ships grow from the common need. The last food is shared, and shared too are
the tasks of burying the dead and bringing the unborn to birth. "You helped us."
"It's nothing. You would a helped us." And the constant refrain: "I'm tired.
Just tired out." Yes, there is work in California, and if you won't work for a
starvation wage there are thousands who will. That's why you were lured here
to glut the labor market. The Joads fare better than some, but then other families
haven't got Ma Joad to keep them together, to keep them clean, to check self pity.
to restrain them from fear of tomorrow. Ma is magnificent, and if Pa isn't it is
because he is bewildered by the collapse of his world. In Tom Joad, who has
served time for a murder, and in Casy, the ex-preacher, there are stirring of the
realization of a part to play, a martydom to be offered to lift their people from
the morass in which they have been sunk by the greed of men armed with power.
POETRY FOR THE MEN OF OUR TIME
COLLECTED POEMS, by Robert P. Tristram Coffin.
"Bob" Coffin is fast becoming as much a household word as the earlier Maine
poet Longfellow, not only because of his writings, but because he allows so many
men to know him and to be his friends, and in his newest book, Collected Poems, he
shows himself to be a keen critic of his own works. Here is a well-chosen selec-
tion of the best of Coffin's previously published poems, and there are fifty new
ones besides . lyrics, ballads, blank verse; poems about English villages, Maine
barns, Indians and aeroplane trips. Mr. Coffin is able to turn his hand to any
sort of poetry, with a versatility that is rich and not merely clever, and there
is Yankee humor here, a brightness not often found in poetry. New Hampshire
is to be fortunate this year in having Mr. Coffin on the staff of the Writers' Con-
ference held at the University the first week in August, where he will share his
own poetry with us and criticize the work of less experienced writers.
n V I o~o
LOVE AND FEAR IN CONFLICT
BITTER CREEK, by James Boyd.
Hurt and bewildered by his mother's desertion, Ray Talcott runs away from
his cruel father. His one idea is to go West, so the thirteen year old boy sets out
alone. After a series of exciting adventures culminating in his happy meeting
with Springtime, he becomes a cowboy on the Circle N ranch. The West is fill-
ing up rapidly. In fact, Absolute Jones is quite disgruntled when a neighbor moves
in only sixty miles away. In the winters, Ray, known as Spur to the cowboys,
and as Sorrel Hair to the Indians, hunts with his Piegan friend, Many Clouds.
When his friends back East are in trouble, he gets jobs for them on the ranch.
With Duchy's death he is made foreman. He loves Nancy, but his faith in women
is so shaken that at first he won't admit it, much less declare his love. Then
comes Nancy's capture by the Indians and her dramatic rescue and he knows of
their love, but his versatile old friend, Dr. Antelope, appears at the crucial moment.
The West serves only as a background for the story, for it is largely a record of
Ray's conflict in surmounting the warped ideas which his mother's elopement
caused in his impressionable mind.
PALE HORSE, PALE RIDER, by Katherine Anne Porter.
Three novelettes, Old Mortality, Noon Wine, and Pale Horse, Pale Rider,
make up this latest collection by the author of Flowering Judas, much publicized
volume of short stories appearing several years ago. As nearly perfect in crafts-
manship as one could wish for, one charm of these stories is their simplicity and
spontaneity. In the first one of the triad are two little girls of the early 20th
century, members of an old Southern family. Their elders fill them with tales of
the past, the wonderful, glamorous past of the South and their own family. The
children drink it in, but at the end of the story, one of the children, Miranda, now
a young woman, has heard too much, and she resolves to cut the family ties ir-
reparably. The title story again concerns Miranda. This time the war has come
and the influenza epidemic as well. Miranda, a newspaper reporter, is taken
desperately ill. She recovers, only to find that during the long period of delirium
her lover has succumbed to the disease. Sandwiched in between the two is a
strange story of a Texas dairy farmer and the murder he committed to save the
life of his Swedish hired man.
THE LIFE OF "BILLY" PHELPS
AUTOBIOGRAPHY, with Letters, by William Lyon Phelps.
Dr. Phelps is as much a part of Yale as the Fence or Harkness Tower, but
this book of his life is not austere and scholarly, because his life has not been so.
We learn that as a schoolboy he sometimes failed to be "promoted". We hear how
he nearly went to Brown, and what college life was like in the eighties. After his
teaching career, trips to Europe, and popular lectures begin, the account becomes
more cosmopolitan, but it never loses touch with the man in the street; it never
becomes so complicated he cannot understand it. Dr. Phelps has done perhaps
more than any man of his generation to bring literature and life together. He
has always preferred mingling with his fellows to remaining aloof from them, and
,among his friends are many contemporary authors. Anecdotes about them and
the impressions they made on "Billy" Phelps are one of the most entertaining
features of this book.
SCULPTURE: INSIDE AND OUT, by Malvina Hoffman.
After the publication of her fascinating autobiography, Heads and Tales, this
talented sculptress was deluged by letters from students asking for professional
advice. This book is her reply. While it is intended mainly for serious students
of sculpture, it is profusely illustrated with splendid photographs and drawings
which will undoubtedly attract many readers to whom Miss Hoffman's interpre-
tation of her art should prove enlightening. The development of sculpture, the re-
quirements for a true sculptor, suggestions for a practical art center, tools and
methods, even formulae and receipts are presented, with many personal experi-
ences to illustrate the points. As Miss Hoffman describes it, sculptures as a career
is not a primrose path, but a "thorny road beset by barriers, defeats, and disap-
pointments." There is no crowding, for few are chosen to walk that road. For-
tunate are those among the multiude of onlookers in the valley who catch the gleam
reflected by their exalted fellows.
THE ROMANCE OF A HESSIAN
GUNS OF BURGOYNE, by Bruce Lancanster.
Seen from the opposite side, the Revolutionary War takes on a slightly dif-
ferent aspect and a very interesting one. Hero of this stirring tale is Kurt Ahrens,
artillery officer in the Hessian troops under General Burgoyne. The familiar his-
tory of the British advance down Lake Champlain, the battles of Ticonderoga and
Bennington, and "Gentleman Johnny's" surrender at Saratoga does not become
monotonous with retelling, but it takes on a new interest as one sees the invader's
reactions to Americans and their ways. Kurt's accidental meeting with Judith
Hunnewell, an American girl, while on a scouting expedition, ends in an exciting
VIEWS OF AMERICAN LIFE
I TRAVEL BY TRAIN, by Rollo Walter Brown.
Did you ever realize how much of American life may be seen from the windows
of a train? For many years Professor Brown of Harvard has traveled over the
length and breadth of this country to speak in towns and cities and especially at
colleges. In all his traveling he has retained a fascination for looking out of the
window to watch America go by, to wonder at the color and contour of the coun-
try and its effect on the people who live and work there. In this book he tells of
incidents and scenes encountered and the thoughts they aroused. If he occasion-
ally sounds a grim note in speaking of sections such as the Pennsylvania-Ohio mining
district or the Dust Bowl, he soon speaks less bitterly of the youth he meets in all
the educational centers-even in these sections. In between trains he has oppor-
tunity to meet not only the groups to whom he has come to lecture but many chance
strangers on the streets and in the railroad stations. These humans are as varied
and colorful as the country.
AN IRISH FAY
SEVENTY YEARS YOUNG: Memories of Elizabeth, Countess of Fingall.
Here is another entertaining biography of how the other half lived. This time
it is the landed gentry of Ireland, not the absentee landlords, but those who lived
in Ireland, loved it, and exercised a just, benevolent paternalism. Elizabeth,
Countess of Fingall recounts her story with sparkle and verve. In the telling one
learns of Irish and English life, of Irish politics and bits about the great. And as
one reads of Lords and Ladies, Marchionesses, Duchesses, their days of hunting,
garden parties and the spending of thousands of pounds a year to live, one real-
izes as does Countess Fingall that this is a tale of a "life that is done; a world
that is ended" and that much beauty and glamour is lost forever.
"JUANA LA LOCA?" LOCAA DE AMOR"
THE MAD QUEEN OF SPAIN, by Michael Prawdin.
It is something of a shock to discover that Queen Isabella and King Ferdinand
of Columbus fame were not the benevolent souls our early histories portrayed.
Really they were a harsh lot with a lust for power which willingly sacrificed their
daughter Joan to their schemes. It is of this daughter that Michael Charol has
written his simple touching tale of a very great love and a life of utter futility. For
Joan, a life of devotion to her husband and family was her supreme desire but
fate having thrust her into the arena of monarchs, she fought for her heritage. It
was a losing fight from the start and herein lies the tragedy of the young Joan,
mad only at the end after forty-six years' imprisonment.
"IF MUSIC BE THE FOOD OF LOVE"
THE YOUNG CO SIM/4A by Henry Handel Richardson.
Miss Richardson has done an excellent fictionalized biography of Cosima
Liszt. It covers twelve years of Cosima's life and of course includes Franz Liszt,
Hans von Bulow and Wagner. There is no question but that much study and
research has gone before the story. The book holds one in its grip and is full of
vitality. It is a welcome addition to the lives of these artists.
OTHER NEW BOOKS
POTTERY MADE EASY, by John Wolfe Dougherty.
AMERICA'S SILVER AGE, by Gerald W. Johnson.
MY MEMOIR, by Edith Boiling Wilson.
SWEDEN, published by the Swedish Traffic Association.
1939 ESSAY ANNUAL.
FIGHTING YEARS, by Oscar Garrison Villiard.
CONNECTICUT RIVER, by Margaret Allis.
THE SELECTED POETRY OF ROBINSON JEFFERS.
MY AMERICA, by Louis Adamic.
PHILADELPHIA FOLKS, by Cornelius Weygandt.
PICTURES OF HISTORICAL BUILDINGS
The Art Division of the Library has on exhibit, now until after Commence-
ment, a selected group of photographs of early domestic and church architecture
in New England and New York. These fine photographs were made by members
of the Historic American Buildings Survey and are to be deposited eventually
in the Library of Congress. Many of these photographs were recently displayed
in the same type of an exhibit at the Metropolitan Museum of New York, and
were loaned to the Library by Mr. Frank Chouteau Brown, former regional di-
rector of the H.A.B.S. An added feature of this exhibit is a group of eight sets
of detailed drawings of the old buildings in the vicinity of Durham, by the New
Hampshire section under the direction of Mr. Eugene Clark. One of the main
purposes of the H.A.B.S. was the preservation for future generations of notable
examples of early American buildings, and it is interesting to note that one of
the buildings here covered by prints and scrap books of photographs, the Paul
Wentworth house of Salmon Falls, has since disappeared.