19 JUNE 1926, Page 28

Old Wine. By Phyllis Bottome. (Collins and Co. 7s. 6d.)

—Vienna, derelict and starving at the end of the War, is the scene of Miss Bottome's new novel. There are passages which are almost too poignant—such for instance as the description of the children's hospital—but the main theme is the reaction of the Austrian aristocracy to the changed conditions of their lives. The desperate struggles of the unscrupulous and the resignation of the single minded are minutely analysed and described, while the pictures of the successful business men—principally Jews who contrive to manoeuvre every situation to their own financial advantage —are drawn with unsparing fidelity. The sombreness of the picture is occasionally relieved by the exercise of that sense of quiet humour by which Miss Bottome has always endeared herself to her readers. A striking and interesting account of a deplorable aftermath of the War.