10 JULY 1941, Page 20

Carmen Sylva, Queen and Woman. By Elizabeth Burgoyne. (Eyre and

Spottiswoode. 128. 6d.) As Rumania has been in our minds of late, Miss Burgoyne's pleasant life of her first queen, Elizabeth of Wied, makes an appropriate appearance. To the last generation "Carmen Sylva," as she called herself, was well known for her literary activities, so rare in crowned heads. While it cannot be said that the Queen achieved distinction as an author, Miss Burgoyne justly reminds us that she had very definite objects in writing. She wanted to earn money for her philanthropic enterprises, such as a blind school ; she also wished to encourage literature in the very back- ward country to which Charles of Hohenzollern brought her in 1869. Her husband, a shrewd politician and capable soldier, took little interest in the Queen's pursuits, and it does not appear that educated Rumanians profited much by her zeal for their folk- lore and traditions. But she certainly made Rumania known to the Western world, and this was worth doing two generations ago. The memoir is well illustrated.