21 NOVEMBER 1885, Page 23

Friends and Foes from Fairyland. By Lord Brabourne. (Long- mans.)—We

have an old complaint against Lord Brabourne in the choice of his subjects. He has a certain leaning—which we cannot praise—to the horrible. In former books he has introduced ogres, with ghastly details of their practices; now he treats us to a circum- stantial account of the doings of witches. " The Witches of Head- corn " is the chief of the three stories contained in this volume, occupying about two-thirds of the whole. It tells us how a certain Kentish maiden was bewitched, and how her father, after many adventures and with much hard labour, dissolved the charm. We do net object to stories built on graceful and harmless superstitions like that of the fairies and their kindred tribes of gnomes and elves ; but the history of witchcraft is too dark and horrible to be made the proper foundation for an exercise of the fancy. " Rigmarole," the third story, should be excepted from this criticism. The tales are somewhat lengthy, but otherwise readable. Mr. Linley Sambourne's illustrations are, we need hardly say, full of humour.

A quite unobjectionable fairy-tale, somewhat awkwardly mixing up the real with the fanciful, is Fairy Prince, Follow my Lead, by Emily E. Reader. (Longmana.) It is readable, however.