21 NOVEMBER 1891, Page 10

For King and Country. By Jane A. Nutt. (Sonnenschein and

Co.)—This is a graphic and sympathetic narrative of the patriotic war in La Vend4e. It takes the form of an autobiography, in the art of writing which the writer has shown herself possessed of quite an unusual skill. The heroine, who relates the melancholy incidents of the war, is a Jersey lady, half-French, who quarrels with her lover. The young gentleman in despair yields to the entreaties of one who has come over to enlist sympathy for the cause of the French King. On the eve of his departure, mis- understandings are removed, and as he cannot draw back from his word, they are married, and together fight for the Vendeans. It is safe to say that the incidents of that melancholy and splendid struggle for faith and liberty have never been described so movingly in fiction before. The whole course of events, from the interference of M. de Lescure—" the Saint of Poitou" of the Vendeans—to the painful end and final exhaustion, is narrated with historical fullness. The detail, as any detail dealing with the methods of the French Revolutionaries must be, is often sickening ; but it is not elaborated to excess, and of course it adds in an extraordinary degree to the vividness and realism of the picture. The personalities of the patriotic war, De In Rochejacquelaine, De Lescure, De Bonchamps, De Marigny, De Charette, Stoffiet, Cathelineau, Cadoudal, Chouan,—all these men are historical portraits, and delineated for us with an enthusiastic though just pen ; their virtues and their faults are put down side

by side, and the reader can form his opinion without the subtle influence of artfully concealed bias. The adventures of the auto- biographer, her husband and child, thread the historical sequence

of events with perpetual interest. For King and Country, indeed, compels our interest for its historical vitality more than for the

vicissitudes of the heroine ; but the natural tendency would be to merge personal interest in the great cause. The Republic appears in a ghastly light ; nor do we see how it could have been arranged otherwise. There are some valuable notes. This is one of the best historical novels that has appeared of late years.