13 NOVEMBER 1909, Page 27

The Tragedy of the . Pyramids. By Douglas Sladen. (Hurst and

Blackett. 6s.)—The author explains in his preface how this book came to be written. He had read in a magazine the first two instalments of Mr. Hall Caine's "White Prophet," and it occurred to him to write a " counterblast?' He tells us accordingly what he thinks of the Egyptian Nationalists, of their foreign friends, and of the soldiers and civilians who administer the affairs of Egypt. His characters are types rather than individuals in disguise. Lord Claphaan, the " Little Englander" British agent, does not stand for any one in par- ticular, though he fairly represents a class. On the other hand, Dan Clime, a mixture of all that is worst in the Irish Nationalist and the English Labour. Member, is too monstrous to exist. As for Mr. Considine, the Irish-American millionaire who subsidises and engineers the anti-British conspiracy, we must own that we do not understand him. We see him first as an unscrupulous trader who has ruined thousands by his " American Hardware Trust." He ends by becoming something like a Bayard. We do not altogether like the story ; some of the scenes might profitably be deleted. Still, on the whole it is "on the side of the angels." And there is much in it to which we can give unmixed praise. There is the hero, for instance, Kennedy, a clean-souled, chivalrous man, who shows up Mr Hall Caine's spurious villains and no less spurious heroes.