THE LIBRARY L TER
Published monthly from October to June
Hamilton Smith Library, of the Univer ,
of New Hampshire -
Entered as second-class matter October 10, 1927, at the post office at Durham, New Hampshire, under the
act of August 24, 1912.
Vol. 16 MARCH, 1941 No. 6
WHAT SHALL MAN REAP ?
RANDOM HARVEST, by James Hilton.
A new novel by James Hilton has been eagerly awaited for some time. Now
it appears Random Harvest amply fulfilling the promises of Lost Horizon,
Goodbye, Mr. Chips, and We Are Not Alone. Hilton's vibrant imagination has
now created a story in the here and now; with men of action dealing firmly with
current problems. There is, however, a decided familiarity in the two great is-
sues in the book contemporary public life stampeding to an inevitable catas-
tropic climax; and the mind of -a man, keen, highly developed, yet a fragile
mystery. Charles Rainier is caught in the treadmill of public life, a noted figure
who has done everything he set out to do. Yet, he replies to that statement,
"There's only one thing more important, and that is, after you've done what you
set out to do, to feel that's it's been worth doing."
Historians tell the story of wars in numbers of men who march up and down
hills, in treaties, incidents and economic needs. It remained for Remarque and
Hilton to write the history of World War I as recorded indelibly on men's minds
and souls. The suspense of the plot will pull the reader heedlessly along, and
its setting and characters are more tangible than those in far-off Tibet, or behind
ivied school walls, but the detached insight into English life of the last two decades,
and a similar insight into man's mind and soul will bring him back again and per-
haps again to this immensely satisfying book.
WITH THE CONFEDERATES
I RODE WITH STONEWALL, by Henry Kyd Douglas.
Henry Kyd Douglas, born in Virginia and educated in the North, enlisted
with the Confederates under Col. T. J. Jackson in the spring of '61. At the Battle
of Manassas that July, Col. Jackson and his Brigade earned the name "Stonewall."
Soon after the engagement, Henry Douglas received an 'appointment to Jack-
son's staff. From that vantage point he wrote his Diary, the basis of this book.
All of the battles in Virginia and Maryland are here: from Bull Run to fateful
Chancellorsville, where "Stonewall" was so tragically shot by his own troops.
There are accounts of the later battles, particularly those of Grant's Campaign
of 1864. Confederate Douglas is scornful of the Union General's work here. He
says that Lee with his Army of Northern Virginia out-smarted and out-fought
the Army of the Potomac. He cites the battles of the Wilderness and Cold Har-
bor to prove his point. But, he adds, it was evident that Grant was not dis-
heartened; that he had plenty of reserves.
I Rode with Stonewall simply accounts the experiences of a Confederate offi-
cer. It is brightened by anecdotes of camp life, and glimpses of the Old South's
civilized society. Essentially, however, it is a poignant tale not because of its
style, which is plain but because of its facts, which are tragic.
H 0 V./^o 6 :la
A MAN AND HIS COUNTRY
MY VANISHED AFRICA, by Peter W. Rainier.
Do not let the modest size of this book mislead you. It has more thrills
and excitement per square inch than any book we have read about Africa since
F. R. Burnham's Scouting on Two Continents had us so excited we expected a
Matabele to jump at us from behind every door. As a child, the author was 'as
familiar with the Zulu language and folklore as he was with his own, and this
was to stand him in good stead many times. It seems almost incredible that so
much could have happened to one man in such a short span of years. It is not
only the author's experiences we read about, but the development of a country,
for he writes of Africa at the time the Mozambique was being opened up by the
whites and the natives were being subjugated. He closes the book just after the
ending of the first World War, which also closed a chapter in Africa's history.
Mr. Rainier has lived and worked on this continent since then and now is back
in Africa. We hope he will share these later experiences with us.
ONE HUMAN FAMILY
THE FAMILY, by Nina Fedorova.
The Family was Russian, "ex-big, ex-great, ex-prosperous," and exiled. They
lived in China during the Japanese invasion of 1937. In order to make ends meet
they run a boarding house and open their hearts as well as their doors to the
strangest collection of boarders ever assembled under one roof. You meet a
"scientific" Bessarabian fortune teller, an Englishwoman addicted to the bottle,
"a Russian scientist turned idealist to save the world, a social climber, a titled
lady whose love affair is the talk and wonder of English-speaking China, an Amer-
ican doughboy and his mistress, and a collection of hissing and bowing Japanese."
This gay and tragic story is full of warmth and courage. Miss Fedorova is
definitely optimistic about the future of the family of human beings. You will
find it swift in the reading and long lingering in the memory. The Family is the
$10,000 Atlantic Prize Novel of 1940, and it will win your approval, too.
"OVER THE BOUNDING MAIN"
THREE'S A CREW, by Kathrene Pinkerton.
This book gives the reader a glimpse of the thrills and fascination he would
experience on a cruise to Alaska in his own boat with his immediate family for
the crew, none of whom have had previous experience in navigating a boat on
the ocean. Rocky passes, narrow channels, strong tides, salmon runs, and motor
trouble are the causes of much excitement. The feminine viewpoint of such ad-
ventures is shown throughout the book by the author, who "keeps house" in spite
of them. The book covers the high points in the summer adventures of seven
years, spent chiefly in the family cruiser investigating quiet inlets enroute to
Alaska or visiting the handloggers at settlements along the coast of British Co-
lumbia and Alaska. One gains a new appreciation of the beauty and majesty of
the mountains along the coast and the more dangerous icebergs farther north.
It is a challenge to the landlubber who has a longing for life on the sea.
GABRIEL'S SEARCH, by Della T. Lutes.
How the Reeds and others from the East moved to and settled in Michigan
is the thread of the story; the growth and life of the frontier town is the warp as
Gabriel's double search is the woof and the two are deftly woven together to
make a simple yet beautiful homespun pattern. Gabriel, Anson, Polly and Debby
all are convincing characters against a realistic background in a suitable plot. In
addition the writing is plain and easy as it should be in such a story.
"It's a good, damp, wormy sort of business, sir . ."
It was a young and clumsily passionate Mr. Dickens who created Martin
Chuzzlewit. Into the maw of a world already weary of its own shortcomings he
poured, through the Chuzzlewit vent, the protestations of a conscience outraged
by the flagrant injustice and greed and selfishness of men. The Chuzzlewit fam-
ily and friends are, allegorically, unrestrained selfishness and greed in their ugliest
habitations, a nest of maggots into which Dickens has thrust a vigorous stick.
Their somber story moves deliberately up from its horizon, gathering thunder
clouds along its orbit, and bursts at its zenith into the fierce storm which the author
created, as he did in David Copperfield, to fuse his plot, and to symbolize, not very
subtly, the pitch of conflicting social forces. The shaft of cold gray light emanat-
ing from Martin Chuzzlewit picks out for our generation the literary philosophy
of a hundred years ago in which are recorded the extant mores.
With all its clash and grit, it remains a good tale, easily readable and still
powerful by reason of the patches of living writing that lift it above the hollows
of dead-line wordage; one of the pieces of the literary mosaic willed to us by a
by-gone age without which the pattern is unfinished.
HAVE YOU READ THESE?
Cervantes' Don Quixote
George Meredith's Ordeal of Richard
Feverel or his Diana of the Crossways
George Eliot's Adam Bede
Charlotte Bronte's Jane Eyre
William Thackeray's Vanity Fair
Charles Dickens' Old Curiosity Shop
Anthony Trollope's Barchester Towers
or his Autobiography
James Boswell's Life of Samuel Johnson
Sir Walter Scott's Waverley
ALL OUT FOR ENGLAND
THE WHITE CLIFFS, by Alice Duer Miller.
When poetry becomes a best seller there's a very particular reason for it and
the reason for the popularity of this book is that it deals with a subject close to
everybody's heart today England. This novel in verse tells the story of an
American girl who married an Englishman just before the last war and went to
live on his family estate in Devonshire. Her husband is killed just before the
Armistice and she must make the choice of bringing up her baby son as a subject
of King George or as a citizen of the United States. At the end of the book
she is faced with the danger of losing him just as she lost his father. But the
story is not the important thing about this book. The characters are symbols.
Susan represents the group of Americans who feel that we should aid England,
our true home, at all costs. Her father, the Rhode Island professor, represents
the other group who believe it isn't our fight. Whichever side you belong on,
you'll find your own views expressed with great sincerity and sharpness. It's a
loosely joined collection of lyrics without great poetic value, but giving us articu-
lateness on a subject where we need it most. Shirley Barker.
ENGLAND'S WAY OUT?
WHERE DO WE GO FROM HERE? by Harold J. Laski.
Mr. Laski reviews in this three-part essay the causes which led Britain into
the present war; the rise of Fascism in Germany and Italy and why the people
embraced it so eagerly; and his own conviction that Britain must experience a
social revolution if she is to save herself. He does not tell us how he thinks it
is to be accomplished, but apparently he does not wish any bloodshed. He feels
that the "privileged" classes should simply consent to hand over their wealth
and power for the good of all. It is a nice idea, Mr. Laski, but we question
whether it would work even if it should actually take place.
REUNION AT HIERONOMO HOUSE
THE BALCONY, by Dorothy Cameron Disney.
Following an acceptable formula for the concoction of a good mystery, "The
Balcony" was created like this: Take a gloomy and cavernous old family mansion
(this one has pillars and a balcony across the front). Inhabit it with an eccen-
tric, strong-willed, elderly woman. With a stipulation of a peculiar will, add a
good quantity of relatives, gathered from all over the country. They should have
made no contacts with each other in 25 years, but have had plenty of time to
develop peculiarities of their own. No stirring up will be necessary. Drop in a
few suspicions of a hidden family fortune. Cover with the bleak atmosphere of
Maryland in a stormy November, and you have The Balcony.
THE ILLINOIS, by James Gray.
Up to the present day, the Mississippi, the Missouri, and the Ohio, largest
of the rivers of the Middle West, have overshadowed the smaller one, the Illinois.
It is James Gray with his new book, The Illinois, another in the Rivers of America
series, who now gives us a picture of this river with its colorful past. In this
Illinois country where so much confusion and conflict was to be, white men made
their first appearance in such a quiet manner. Gray tells us not only of the
famous Father Marquette, Louis Joliet, and La Salle, but also of less-sung-of
heroes. Sieur de Tonty, the Frenchman with the metal hand, was perhaps the
most dashing figure. Abe Lincoln, Stephen A. Douglas, Ulysses S. Grant, all
important leaders from Illinois are pictured here. The Illinois is filled with tales
of many more persons who were perhaps not so famous yet added much to the
scene along this river the Illinois.