20 APRIL 1889, Page 23

In Spite of Himself. By Amelia E. Barr. (James Clarke

and Co.)—The author of "Jan Vedder's Wife" is an adept at the

valuable art of conveying sound ethical teaching in the form of fiction, and she has undoubtedly shown it in this "story of the West Riding," which is summarised both as regards plot and dialect in this saying of Amos Brathwaite, the father of the hero,— " There's varry few lads, who, if they hod lost four years and £5,000 in a lawyer's office, would hey hed spirit enough to kick t' law, and ivery thing about t' law, to the 'back-of-beyond,' and then go to work like a man." In some respects, indeed, the story is conventional enough ; many a man in the position of Joseph Brathwaite has fallen in love with a girl like Edith Bradley, who is in position and culture above him, and has, in consequence, contracted a temporarily unhappy marriage. What is notable in it is the thorough " raciality " of the characters, particularly of Joseph's father, Amos, who, with all his brusqueness, is amenable to the influences which tend to refinement, although Mrs. Barr states this fact rather obscurely when she says,—" Ile was also one of those fundamental men who have never frittered or scoffed away the natural influence of feminine beauty."