22 FEBRUARY 1930, Page 22

A man who has known Pollock of the Saturday and

Palmer the Orientalist ; who has been on friendly terms with Leighton, Millais, Holman Hunt and Corney Grain ; who has soldiered in India and through the Boer War ; who knows about hops, sat for thirteen years for a Sussex constituency, and was British Consul at Danzig and Savannah, ought to have a story to tell. And Mr. Arthur Brookfield, brother to Charles Brooldield, that incomparable comedian, has. Many figures, interesting and prominent, move through the pages of Annals of a Chequered, Life (Murray, 15s.), and the author as an infant was dandled on the knees of Byron's wife. But somehow the book fails of effect. While it contains many reminiscences about people whose record is eminently worth preserving, one is so often brought up by a passage of distressing flatness— by a declaration, for instance, on the part of the author that " I should not have related such an anecdote had it not been entirely creditable to Mrs. Carlyle's memory." Still, there are plenty of oases to counteract the rather insistent impression of flat aridity. • * * *