THE LIBRARY LANTERN
Published monthly from October to. June by the
Hamiltotn Smith Library, of, the University, '
of New Hampshire
Entered as second-class matter October 10, 1927, at the past, office at Dirham; Ne4,'Iampshire, under the
act of August 24, 1912.
Vol. 15 OCTOBER, 1939 No. 1
IN IRISH IDYLL
THE OPEN SKY, by L. A. G. Strong.
David Heron came to a quaint old island off the coast of Ireland at the order
of his former colleague and good friend, Dr. Seton Masterman, an eminent London
physician. He soon found himself embroiled in the tangled lives of the island
folk. Long before him had come a famous artist who had immortalized the island
to the world, but had left behind a bewildered and angry people. David fitted so
completely into the pattern built by that former visitor that he reaped in an un-
deserved measure the hatred sown so long before. The artist's orphaned daughter,
a gay and untamed child, helped him in his growing understanding of the place and
himself, but he met rebuffs on nearly every encounter with the folk around him.
"It's old land hereabouts and the past is very near us," was the explanation given
when he puzzled over the simplicity and mysticism of the islanders. With return-
ing health he also gained a new conception of his abilities and needs and found
Sin the open sky over the hulking coastline of the island a symbol of his new under-
standing of the life that heretofore had been too much for him.
BLACK NARCISSUS, by Rumer Godden.
High in the mountains above Darjeeling perched Mopu Palace. Hoping to
efface the stigma attached to it. General Toda Rai offered it to some priests and
when they failed him, he invited an order of Anglican nuns to use the palace for
a hospital and school. Sister Clodagh, haunted by her memories of Ireland and
Con, forced her misgivings from her mind and made the recommendation to Mother
Dorothea. So, for a brief span, the "House of Women" became the Convent of
Saint Faith, with Sister Clodagh in charge, Sister Ruth to teach the children, Sister
Blanche instructing the girls in lace making and weaving, Sister Phillippa occupied
with the garden and the laundry and Sister Briony happy with the housekeeping
and the dispensary. Much work had to be done by Mr. Dean, the General's agent
with the bad reputation and the astonishing astuteness. Was he their first mistake,
or was it the arrival of Kanchi, or their acceptance of General Dilip Rai with his
gay clothes and his "black narcissus" scent? Miss Godden skillfully portrays the
change that came over each of the Sisters before the tragedy occurred which forced
them to abandon their project. Only the "foreign women" were changed by the
experiment, for the mountains still stood in their inscrutable splendor and the na-
tives resumed the thread of their lives as if nothing had happened. To them it was
of no lasting consequence. To the Sisters it was a tempering from which they
emerged strengthened, or broke under its force. PERODICAL
FROM THE VILLAGE OF PHILOSOPHERS
LISTEN FOR THE VOICES, by Anne Colver.
It is the voices of Concord, America's literary center of the mid-nineteenth
century, to which one listens in this novel. Emerson, Thoreau, Bronson Alcott and
his daughter Louisa, and many others live and move in these pages as surely as
once they did in their quiet Massachusetts village. One has the feeling that the
fictitious characters faithfully typify other elements of Concord life. Although
there probably was no such person as Mrs. Hart, undoubtedly there were many
who felt that the Alcotts were public nuisances because they were frequently too
poor to pay their taxes. And if Miss Harriette Daly didn't live, there might have
been some overworked, weary little seamstress who worshipped Mr. Emerson from
afar. Perhaps the most charming glimpses are of the Alcotts, as devoted a family
group as one could wish. Much research had to go into the making of this novel
in order to create the lifelike atmosphere; much imagination was needed also to
fill in the gaps, and the resultant mixture of fact and fancy is a delightful one.
THE FIRST AMERICANS
RED STRANGERS, by Elspeth Huxley.
Much has been written of the white man's subjugation of the Indians in North
America and of his conquest of India, but this novel tells a new tale in the old
pattern: the story of the coming of the white man's civilization to the natives of
the interior of East Africa. Although based on established facts, and incorporating
many of the legends heard from old men who remembered the coming of the "red
strangers" the story is written around the lives of three men: Muthengi, who be-
came a great leader of his people by bowing to the will of the British and learning
their craftiness and greed while acquiring some of their culture; Matu, the wizened
and wise, who made a not too unhappy compromise between the white man's in-
novations and sorcery and customs of his people; Karanja, son of Matu and nephew
of Muthengi, who typifies the degeneracy and muddled living of a race that has
been conquered by the worst of a new culture and lost all that gave it dignity and
greatness in the process. Particularly adept is the handling of the natives' inter-
pretation of the ways and methods of the white man; seen through the eyes of the
Africans, the bwanas of Mrs. Huxley's novel are certainly neither estimable nor
great, but all too humanly frail, and fairly ridiculous figures in the slowly closing
story of a bewildered people.
NATURE LOVER AND TEACHER
RUNNER OF THE MOUNTAIN TOPS, by Mabel L. Robinson.
Living almost in the shadow of illustrious Harvard, this book has a special
appeal for us since it is a biography of Jean Louis Rudolphe Agassiz. Born in
Switzerland in 1807, the child Louis was fortunate in having parents who were
eager to encourage his inquiring mind. The desire to know was the strongest
force in his life, and his innate charm and enthusiasm carried others along with
him from one alluring peak of discovery to the next. He went to Germany, to
France, to England and then America claimed him. In 1848 he became Professor
of geology and zoology at Harvard. It was Harvard that fulfilled his dream of
a museum, though he had hard work to convince the Legislature of the necessity
for such an unheard-of extravagance. His cup of happiness was full when he was
able to organize the first Summer School on Penikese Island, an idea which grew
into the many fine marine biological laboratories of today. Young people in par-
ticular will enjoy this biography of the man to whom life was one delightful dis-
covery after another.
TOWARD A NATIONAL ART
AMERICAN ART TODAY, published by the National Art Society.
American Art Today is a collection of prints, including painting, sculpture and
graphic arts. The importance of the book, however, lies in the significance of this
particular collection as representative, modern, American art, and the obviously in-
teresting quality of the work itself. It is a cross section of the works and the
taste of today. Under the chairmanship of A. Conger Goodyear; capable commit-
tees throughout the entire United States selected from the 25,000 pieces of art,
1,200 as the very finest, to be exhibited at the World's Fair in New York. They
range from conservative to the most modern and are all contained in this book.
It is divided into three types: painting, sculpture, and the graphic arts, each pre-
ceded by an explanation of American art history in that medium. The purpose of
this collection has been to emphasize the importance of developing talent away from
the art centers and exploiting familiar scenes as art subjects. In this way we are
developing a national art and a broader American taste. While no one will like
every work, certainly these examples contain many things of interest, for their scope
is broad, and the purpose of each is exceptionally clear.
SEE AMERICA FIRST
JOGGING AROUND NEW ENGLAND, by Charles Hanson Towne.
A pleasanter way to spend six weeks can hardly be imagined than that which
is described on these pages. Mr. Towne, with Mr. Hoffman, his companion and
chauffeur, took to the road late in August, 1938, and proceeded to jog along, stop-
ping when and where they pleased, turning into bypaths when the spirit moved,
and all in all seeing a good share of New England. From Martha's Vineyard to
Bar Harbor, and over the Long Trail across the Green Mountains, then back to
New York through the quiet Connecticut countryside, they saw not only what any
traveller may see, but much that a hurried or less curious visitor might miss.
THE HUDSON, by Carl Carmer.
Carl Carmer now adds The Hudson to his already well-known list of books
and to the Rivers of America series. It is the story of the people who have lived
in the Hudson valley. Their history and folklore combine to make one of the
best books of this series.
RAILROADS AND RIVERS, the Story of Inland Transportation, by William
A wealth of information about inland transportation from 1600 in a "land
without wheels" to today with our freight trucks, bus lines and stream-lined trains;
much about the great railroads and railroad men; maps of ,early railroads and mod-
ern ones make interesting comparisons. There are many illustrations from old
prints, paintings, and photographs.
EDWARD LEAR; Landscape Painter and Nonsense Poet, by Angus Davidson.
One more story of an artist living between England and the artistic centers on
the continent. Delightful reading for those who ,enjoy such stories and amusing
in spots. The book is profusely illustrated from Lear's cartoons and paintings.
MORE SNAKES. RIVERS AND THINGS
SEVEN GRASS HUTS; An Engineer's Wife in Central and South America by
Cecile Hulse Matschat.
Mrs. Matschat has a gift for combining snakes, history, travel and people to
make absorbing reading. This time it is not Seewanee River to be explored but
an engineering trip into the very heart of wildest South America. Heat, natives,
fish, mosquitoes, and monkeys, all these are there, and in "Seven Grass Huts" they
are more delightful than at first hand.
OTHER NEW BOOKS
ARMIES OF SPIES, by Joseph Gollomb.
REDEEMING OLD HOMES, by Amelia Leavitt Hill.
SILK SCREEN STENCIL CRAFT AS A HOBBY, by J. I. Bregeleisen.
WE SAILED FROM BRIXHAM, by Claude Beddington.
SALWEEN, by Ronald Kaulbeck.
NOT PEACE, BUT A SWORD, by Vincent Sheean.
THE OLD SANTE FE TRAIL, by Stanley Vestal.
WATCH FOR THE DAWN, by Stuart Cloete.
YOU AND HEREDITY, by Amram Scheinfeld.
AMERICAN POTTERS AND POTTERY, by John Ramsay.
UNDERGROUND NEW ENGLAND, by Clay Perry.
In the death of Miss Charlotte Thompson, Assistant Librarian
Emerita, which occurred at her home in Durham on September
24th, the Hamilton Smith Library, as well as the University and
community, lost one of those who had done the most toward its
successful development. "Aunt Lottie" was known and loved by
generations of students not only for her valuable service in the
Library, but for the many personal relationships for which she was
never too busy . for instance, her correspondence during the
war when she was writing fifteen or twenty letters a week to New
Hampshire men fighting in France. A splendid tribute was paid
to her when the Alumnae of the University refurnished the Char-
lotte Thompson Room at the Library for the use of the children of
Durham. One of her local friends, instead of sending flowers to
the funeral, gave a book to the children's collection in her Tmemory.
Such a tribute would have made "Aunt Lottie" supremely happy.