Book reviews, pp. 601-603
BOOK REVIEWS back to the memory lovingly, even power- fully, as the most living brain child of Mr. Hewlett. He and his Sancha will remain, while the passage of the poet Gervase Poore and Mrs. Lancelot will be rapid, eerie-like, not the vision the author claims for her. (Published by the Century Com- pany, New York. 400 pages. Price $1.35 net.) AMERICAN CITY GOVERNMENT: BY CHARLES A. BEARD T HE subtitle of Mr. Beard's book, "A Survey of Newer Tendencies," is perhaps its best explanation, since it deals less with politics and administration than with the present social and economical problems which must be met in the life of large cities. The book is particularly timely now when the interest in civic-improve- ment is widespread and when the Ameri- can people are awakening to the impor - tance of a better city government. Mr. Beard advocates "home rule" for each city as a protection against corrupt practices of the State Legislature, and also on account of the fact that each city knows best its own difficulties. The chapters that treat of the health of the people, their education and industrial training; municipal recrea- tion and city planning as well as one enti- tled "Guarding the City against Crime and Vice," are perhaps the ones likely to. be of the greatest general service. Those who know Mr. Beard's "American Government and Politics" will find in the present volume the same standard of conscientious work- manship, and a like just treatment of his subject. (Published by the Century Com- pany, New York. Illustrated. 420 pages. Price $2.00 net.) RUSSIAN WONDER TALES: BY POST WHEELER A WHOLLY charming contribution to folk-lore is this English version of the Russian skazki, a subject little known to Americans. The author is the first, so far as is known, to consider the subject since Bain's Anglicized edition of Afonasief's tales, which appeared in Rus- sian in 1874. Before that Ralston's Rus- sian Folk-Tales, published in 1873, was pre- sumably the only presentation of Slavonic myths in English. Mr. Wheeler could scarcely have found a fresher field for his initial work. Handed down for centuries from genera- tion to generation, these "wonder tales" sprang from the nature-myths of a pagan people. Coming tinder the influence of the Christian faith, their old symbolism and primitive meaning gradually disappeared, until at length only incoherent fragments remained. These formed the nuclei for other lore developed by the changed condi- tions and life of the people. "So that the skarki," says Mr. Wheeler, "as they appear today, are less a cluster of individual tales than an elaborate mosaic, with whose frag- ments and color of incident the modern adapter produces variant and highly-tinted designs on the kaleidoscopic principle." Differing in some respects from the folk- lore common to the Indo-European nations, these Russian tales possess all the magic, and employ all the artifices of the wonder- lands with which we are familiar. From the vast wealth of such lore throughout the Russias, Mr. Wheeler presents twelve tales as representative types, each being some- what a composite, and he tells them to us in good Western folk-lore style. The exquisite illustrations for this work merit special attention. They are reproduc- tions in color from the drawings of the Rus- sian artist, Bilibin, whose interpretation of the skazki through his brush "has made the old myths glow again." (Published bv the Century Company, New York. Illustrated. 323 pages. Price $2.50 net.) LITTLE BOOKS ABOUT OLD FUR- NITURE: BY A. E. REVEIRS-HOP- KINS AND BY J. B. BLAKE T HE third and fourth volumes in the series of "Little Books about Old Furniture" trace the development of furniture from the time of Chippendale in the middle of the eighteenth century to the period of Hepplewaite, Sheraton and the Adams Brothers in the first quarter of the nineteenth century. The books contain some interesting descriptions of the life and the people during the periods when this furniture was produced. They are of in- terest chiefly to the collector or to the pur- chaser of moderate means who wishes to acquire some knowledge of the "periods" before buying, and who does not wish to go deeply into the more academic questions set forth in less "popular" books on furni- ture. (Published by Frederick A. Stokes Company, New York. "The Period of Chippendale," by J. P. Blake. Illustrated.
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