19 NOVEMBER 1910, Page 18


[To THE EDITOR OF THE " SPECTATOR."] Sgt,—In the matter of writing letters to the Press regarding reviews of one's own books) I believe I am entitled to claim your indulgence as a first offender. Also, consideration of the kindly review of "The Land of His Fathers" which appeared in your last issue may perhaps warrant a plea of justification. The letter

portion of the review in question, including the following passage, is what puzzles me :— "But we have one or two criticisms to make. Thus he holds up to ridicule a smooth-speaking parson, who patronises but does not help the hero's scheme. Very good; but when we axe told that he pays his hard-working curate 280 a year we protest. Such a stipend is impossible; the idea is borrowed from the fiction of fifty years ago."

This is a question, not of opinion, but of fact. If your reviewer will refer to the Curate's Augmentation Fund, 2 Dean's Yard, Westminster, or to any Church organisation possessed of equal sources of information in this particular matter, he will, I thmk, withdraw this part of his criticism. There are very many curates, there are also vicars and rectors in this country, whose stipends are well under a hundred a year. To say that this is undesirable is, of course, natural. It was much resented by Harry Ayres in " The Land of His Fathers." To say, by way of criticism of the book, that it is" impossible,"is—not quite worthy of the Spectator's literary traditions.—I am, Sir, &c., A. J. DAWSON.

Royal Colonial Institute.