18 JULY 1874, Page 24

Backward Glances. Edited by the Author of "Episodes in an

Obscure Life." (Sampson Low and Co.)—These are reminiscences of past life, by one who introduces herself by saying, "I have lost my hus- band, and my children, and my health. I have come back a failure, to. die in my native place." Something of a saddened tone naturally runs through the whole of a story which is thus prefaced. But it is very prettily told ; and the descriptions of the old home, and of the life which the subject of the autobiography led there in her youth are very pleasing. And there are some shrewd sketches of character. Take this, for instance :—" Amongst grown-up people, I found a conviction that every Northern person—a fortiori, every Yorkshire person—was mentally and physically superior to every Southern person; and a propos of nothing, this doctrine was so frequently propounded in my presence as an indisputable truth, that I felt rather uncomfortable till I learnt to. laugh at it. Yorkshire people make staunch, warm, generous frienda„ but a stranger from the Smith is more apt to be struck by their con- ceited belief in their own infallible cleverness, their eagerness to obtain a quid pro quo, their scorn for any display of feeling as effeminate, and the delight they apparently take in saying disagreeable things. If tt. Yorkshireman thinks anyone not particularly wise, he goes out of his. way to tell him that he is a fool." On the whole, what our author " edits " is not as good as what he writes ; or is it possible that he "edits " early work, which had been put by tills way had been opened for it by the success of the later?