1 MARCH 1930, Page 39

As an example of the popular fiction of a century

ago, when the Spectator was young, John Roby's Traditions of Lanca- shire (Warne, 7s. 6d.) is not without interest. This volume is a reprint, with the romantic illustrations, of the second Series of Roby's tales, dated 1881, and of three posthumous pieces. Apart from the place-names, there is little in Roby's sentimental pages that is distinctive of Lancashire or any other county. He was influenced less by Scott than by the " Mysteries of Udolpho " and " The Monk," and those who look for the racy folk-tales of Lancashire in Roby's book will be disappointed.