11 MARCH 1865, Page 18

Dorothy Firebrace; or, the Armourer's Daughter of Birmingham. By the

author of Whitefriars. 3 vols. (Richard Bentley.)—The author has given us here a very bustling, readable novel, in which the historical characters are very wisely not made to play too prominent a part. The time chosen is the opening of the great Civil War, and the interest of the story turns on the part played by the citizens of Birmingham and the family of Sir Thomas Holte, the builder of Aston Hall, the splendid mansion which has recently become the property of the town. We are not disposed to scrutinize too narrowly the character of the incidents in a novel, but the loves of Tubal Bromycham and Augusta Holte do seem to go rather beyond any reasonable limit. A very proud woman rejecting Prince Rupert for a blacksmith is in itself a strong demand on our faith, but when the two rather than fall into the Prince's hands publicly drown themselves it is too much. Nor do we quite like the making Tubal a person of good family which was ruined three gene- rations back. If there is any indelicacy in a woman's fixing her affections on a mechanic, how is it relieved by the fact that his great grandfather was a gentleman ? On Prince Rupert the author is very hard. A man of his learning and ingenuity can scarcely have been the coarse brute who is here depicted. On the other hand, the sketch of Charles I. seems to us particularly good. It brings out his selfishness and weakness without robbing him of his refinement.