19 JULY 1879, Page 23

Sketches of French History. By T. Adolphus Trollope. (Bickers and

Son.)—These sketches are, for the most part, reprinted from vari- ous periodicals. "They consist," the author tolls us, "of passages from history, chosen for the sake of the vividness of the light they seemed to throw on the manners and ways of thinking of the timee

to which they belong It was not his object to find such historical passages as might yield material of a romantic nature. Character rather was the quarry he was in quest of, and he ventures to hope that it may be thought that hie search was not altogether fruitless." Mr. Trollopo has given ns a very pleasant volume. The story of Urban Greedier has been told by many authors, but it is here invested with, fresh interest, and the narrative excites anew a feeling of weirder how, even under the influence of the all-powerful Riche- lieu, the perpetration of such foul and unnatural cruelty as that of which Grandier was the viaim mild be possible. The article on La Fontaine contains much that will be now to most readers, and Mr. Trollop° is probably correct in his opinion that the facts connected with the fabulist's life are very imperfectly known in England. We .think that the introduction into a work on French history of "The Critical Case of Major Oneby " is a mistake ; if admitted at all, it would have better occupied the last place in the series. The chapters that precede and follow it, those on St. Simon and the Chevalier de la Barre, are of greater interest, and -would road better if not discon- nected by the narrative of an English duel.