THE LIBRARY L TERi
Published monthly from October to June
Hamilton Smith Library, of the Unive ty
of New Hampshire
Entered as second-class matter October 10, 1927, at the post office at Durham, New IaM itre, under the
act of August 24, 1912.
Vol. 15 JANUARY, 1940 No. 4
"ON THE BANKS OF THE OYSTER"
MODERN MIRACLE MEN, by J. C. Ratcliffe.
This book is an interesting and readable survey of man's new defenses against
disease, such as the iron lung, new drugs and serums, and the tendency toward
socialized medicine that will put medical and surgical treatment within the reach
of all. But it deals with our defenses against older enemies than disease, cold and
hunger, and some of its best chapters are concerned with the work of scientists
who are studying ways to improve the quality of the raw materials on which we
depend, and to increase their supply. The most interesting section, at least
for New Hampshire people, is devoted to the work of Professor Ernest Ritzman of
the University of New Hampshire. It is the story of his experiments in sheep
breeding carried on with an already improved breed with which Alexander Graham
Bell had worked in Nova Scotia many years ago. Other experiments of Professor
Ritzman's include work with cattle and horses, but his aim is always to make
these animals of more use to man. These stories of modern miracles are not too
scientific for the average reader to understand, nor are they too highly colored.
The picture they present is a sober and honest one, but interesting because of its
great importance in the life of every man and woman.
AND GLADLY LEARN
A GOODLY FELLOWSHIP, by Mary Ellen Chase.
For a teacher, one of the best, to make these comments about modern educa-
tion, is a comfort to some of us who do not see eye to eye with state boards of
education and modern methods. In 1909 Mary Ellen Chase graduated from col-
lege and she says, oh heresy! "I was more fortunate in just two respects than
girls who are now finishing college . .: First, I had escaped those courses in the
history, science, and art of 'education' which state boards inflict today upon col-
leges; and second, I was reasonably sure of a job."
Miss Chase's two earliest teachers were her father and mother, who knew how
to impart knowledge with enthusiasm. Latin, with a gifted woman, became a
living subject. The pupils of this teacher gave a Roman banquet which would
hold its own with any project method.
Between her second and third years in college Miss Chase taught her first
schools, rural schools in Maine which would test any teacher's capacities; they
proved her metal. There is food for much thought in this biography and Mary
Ellen Chase has an entertaining and forceful way of comparing the good and bad
points of teaching, old and new. She is one who belongs to the "goodly fellow-
ship" of born teachers; her varied experiences have taken her from that Buck's
Harbor school to Smith College and surely she has "come to her task as to a sport."
THE SEQUEL TO "DEAD NED"
LIVE AND KICKING NED, by John Masefield.
True to his promise, Mr. Masefield goes on with the story of Dead Ned. You
will doubtless recall that the book closed with Ned Mansell's dramatic escape
aboard the slaver, Albicore. Life on the slave ship under Captain Paul had its
own hazards and after the captain's death Ned was at the mercy of Pegg and
Staggers. His escape from the attack of the Matablancos and his adventures with
the mysterious white tribe of Kranois will keep you well entertained. We are not
going to give you the ending of the story, but just to ease the tension-the Ad-
miral's murder is solved. You can enjoy the story even if you missed Dead Ned.
BOOK OF PLANT LIFE
FLOWERING EARTH, by Donald Culross Peattie.
This book has been expected of this author for a long time. Mr. Peattie con-
fesses that he has been afraid to write it, although plant life is more his special field
than any he has concerned himself with in all his previous books. That fear was
founded on his understanding of what others would expect and what others might
prefer. His fears were justified in one respect; this is no textbook, no "botany
book," no scientific treatise. Yet of how much more value it is to the lay reader
than any of these, for here is a definite contribution to popular scientific literature.
Mr. Peattie is that all too rare blend of scientific soundness which is combined
with literary ability of no mean sort. Here is a book about plants, their habits and
history, a history that with true scientific perspective embraces all time. Here is,
too, a book of prose so well written as to constantly bring the reader to his feet
with a shout of discovery at some turn of phrase or descriptive bit.
WHAT IT IS ALL ABOUT
SCIENCE TODAY AND TOMORROW, by Waldemar Kaempffert.
Somewhere between the deep fathomings of the scientist and wild imaginings
of the adventure story writer, Mr. Kaempffert takes his stand. He has combined
the better qualities of both, to form a book of natural interest to everyone. It is
based upon proven fact and sound reasoning, and it discusses everything from the
universe to electricity. It also ventures, after touching upon points of interest in
man's increasing knowledge, to imagine what will happen in the future. The book
makes us realize that rocket ships are a real possibility for the future, and that man
may yet harness the atom. But above all this comes the question of just what it is
all about. Why is man here, and how long will he last?
TOMLINSON IN DISGUISE
THE DAY BEFORE, by H. M. Tomlinson.
The Day Before is fiction of a rare sort. Tomlinson, as Clem Venner, very
much alive, partakes of adventure and shares his many thoughts. There is little
plot but great distinction of writing; it is rather a picture of times than a novel.
It is a book to enjoy.
ADVENTURE OVER EUROPE
BLACK FEATHER, by Benge Atlee.
A tale of international arms smuggling in the Near East. An Englishman,
Gerald Burke, is investigating; a Russian girl is working for an unknown side;
thrills and adventures are beyond belief. And as Mr. Anderson of the New York
Times says, "The Ancient Order of Armchair Adventurers should lose no time in
adding this book to its library."
LITTLE GIRL ON A SLEIGHRIDE
KITTY FOYLE, by Christopher Morley.
Behind the neat and attractively efficient front presented to a hardboiled world
by the "White Collar Woman" there is as feminine a being as was ever buried
under crinoline. As proof, Christopher Morley has deftly delineated for us the
workings of the mind and heart of Kitty Foyle, expert in cosmetic advertising, in
the year of 1939, her twenty-eighth year. Kitty is Irish, born on the wrong side of
Philadelphia long enough before the last World War to have weathered its after-
math. High school in Illinois, business school in Philadelphia, and constant ex-
posure to her Irish father's cricket-field philosophy prepares her for her work at
Delphine's, both in Chicago and New York. Kitty's Irish heart and Irish wit are
ever restrained by her uncompromising sense of the fitness of things. That sense
makes her invaluable at Delphine's and as adamant in her refusal to be Mrs.
Wynnewood Strafford VI, much as she loves Wyn. Mr. Morley develops his
story as we follow Kitty's efforts to rationalize that refusal. The book has been
aptly labelled "the natural history of a woman;" Kitty Foyle may not be typical
but she is an interesting specimen.
AND HER NAME WAS MAUD
MAUD, edited by Richard Lee Strout.
After you've read Kitty Foyle and become acquainted with a real twentieth
century girl, we hope you'll turn to this book, and meet a young lady who belonged
to the days when "young lady" was the proper term and bachelor girls were un-
heard of. This is the lively journal kept by a belle of the eighties in Cairo, Illinois,
and it is good social history from the feminine point of view. The book could al-
most serve as a history of costume in America during the years when Maud was
going to parties and concerts with her beaux, and telling her journal in detail
about the colorful and elaborate clothes she wore. Social life in a small town in
the Middle West, where there were floods from the Mississippi every February,
and occasional trips to Chicago to buy a new bonnet or to learn how to paint
china, was the theme of Maud's journal and the core of her life. This is a delight-
ful and intimate picture of a real live heroine of horse-and-buggy days.
DICKENS UP TO DATE
ONE PAIR OF HANDS, by Monica Dickens.
Finishing school in Paris and visiting in New York wasn't exciting enough,
so Monica Dickens (whose great grandfather was the famous Charles) decided to
look for a job as a cook-general (that's the English equivalent of maid-of-all-work.)
Such occupation promised real thrills! And to the amazement of her family, she
did just that. This book is the account of her experiences. She had her ups and
downs, of course, positions that were terminated by mutual agreement of employer
and employee at the end of one day, others which were pleasant and quite satis-
factory to all concerned. A remarkable gift of characterization and a keen sense
of humor are shown above all else. Miss Dickens displays the rare talent for find-
ing something amusing in every situation, no matter how trying or trivial it might
seem on the surface. Thoroughly delightful in every respect, this volume is a
worthy successor to the long line of the earlier Dickens' works.
WITH THE VOICE OF AUTHORITY
ABRAHAM LINCOLN, The War Years, by Carl Sandburg.
An adequate review of this four-volume study of the climax of Lincoln's life
cannot be attempted in the limited columns of The Library Lantern. Sandburg
has made a complete study of the Civil War president and dealt with his earlier
days in previous books. Stephen Vincent Benet, himself an authority on the
period, predicts that this will be the definitive Lincoln biography.
A RIVER AND A VALLEY
THE SACRAMENTO, RIVER OF GOLD, by Julian Dana.
The Rivers of America Series continues with the record of the Sacramento.
The early history of this section of California is familiar to many of us. Who is
there who does not think of Sutter and gold when this period is mentioned? To
us in the East brought up on stories and legends of the Mississippi, it is a delight
to find that the Sacramento also has its astonishing captains, its songs and not-
soon-forgotten boats. At its mouth has grown up the great city of San Francisco.
Times and people change, but the river flows timelessly to the Golden Gate.
LIVE IN BORNEO AND LOVE IT
LAND BELOW THE WIND, by Agnes Newton Keith.
So says Agnes Keith and she should know for she went to North Borneo,
the bride of an Englishman and lived there four years. Land Below the Wind is a
description of life there; human life, and animal, and insect; natives, monkeys and
ants; trips into the jungle. The book won the $5,000 Atlantic Monthly prize for
non-fiction. The book is like Agnes N. Keith, "Funny and sensible, untrammeled
by any reticence." Pen drawings by the author.
DISTLEFINKS, POTTERS, ZITTERS AND SUCH
THE DUTCH COUNTRY, by Cornelius Weygandt.
A new book by Professor Weygandt is always welcome. In this one he writes
again of the Dutchland in Pennsylvania; of the people, the customs and the tradi-
tions. Many people write about everyday things and they remain commonplace.
This author has the happy faculty of writing about such things and imbuing them
with a dignity and an interest which we are prone to overlook. This is the book
to turn to when you wish to relax after the holiday festivities.
OTHER NEW BOOKS
SHANGHAI '37, by Vicki Baum.
IN DEFENSE OF FRANCE, by Edouard Daladier.
THE DEFENCE OF BRITAIN, by Liddell Hart.
MRS. MORTON OF MEXICO, by Arthur Davidson Ficke.
THE HUNDREDTH YEAR, by Philip Guedalla.
AFTER SEVEN YEARS, by Raymond Moley.
ARTS AND THE MAN, by Irwin Edman.
WHISTLER'S FATHER, by Albert Parry.
CARIBBEAN TREASURE, by Ivan T. Sanderson.
MOSES ON THE MOUNTAIN, by Zora Neale Hurston.