13 JANUARY 1906, Page 23

Saints in Society. By Margaret Baillie-Saunders. (T. Fisher Unwin. 6s.)—The

authors of Mr. Fisher Unwin's "First Novel Library" naturally make a special appeal for indulgent criticism, and it must be owned that in many ways Saints in Society is greatly in need of the indulgence which the reviewer extends to first novels. Like most beginners, Mrs. Baillie-Saunders finds no difficulty in starting her story, and the first six or seven chapters show her to be possessed of considerable powers of observation and description. Later on, unfortunately, the story degenerates, and although the author is not the first writer of fiction who has apparently changed his mind as to his personages in the middle of the book, it is rare for both a hero and a heroine to develop towards the middle of a novel charac'ers absolutely antagonistic to those with which they wore equipped in the beginning. The descriptions of society in the book are not very lifelike, and, indeed, read as if the author had not collected her facts from personal obser- vation, but from the sensational descriptions given by certain writers who engage in the congenial task of lashing the vices of the aristocracy. It is to be hoped that if Mrs. Baillie-Saunders continues to write she will acquire her experience at first hand, and will take rather more pains in the construction of her story.