14 OCTOBER 1876, Page 24

Our .Next .Neighbour. By Courtenay Grant. (Bentley.)—" She was dressed

in a dark, claret-coloured dress, half-stuff and half-silk ; she had silver ornaments,"—the author's meaning is that she wore silver ornaments,—" and her face was very pretty ; blue eyes—only they changed, and were not always quite blue—and glossy auburn hair, with a clear, bright complexion. She is a beauty, is Lady Fanny FitzMorris." She is also the heroine of a remarkably silly story, by a writer whose grammar, as will be evident from the sentence just quoted, leaves a good deal to be desired. Hair which possesses a clear, bright com- plexion is a novelty in nature ; the treatment by this writer of nomina- tives is a novelty in art, and we hope it is reserved" as one of his "rights." There is very little plot, and no character in the story; nobody is flagrantly immoral, but everybody is surprisingly vulgar, and consider- ing that we are introduced to "the hoighth of good company," and attend a Spelling-Bee given by a "darling duchess," we are a little taken aback by the tone of the talk on this occasion, and others equally august. There is a great deal about horses, hounds, and hunting in the story of Our Next Neighbour, but the writer treats these subjects with more zeal than knowledge, and we suspect " Courtenay Grant" is a young lady who has heard of " cross-country " as Norval heard of battles, but has never followed to the field her fox-hunting sire. The novel is quite harmless, and may be found amusing by readers who like the merest thistledown in literature.