23 APRIL 1937, Page 30


Dr. Comptoh-Rickett makes himself quite clear. He has known a certain number of celebrities and he tells the reader so. The book (Selwyn and Blount, 12S. 6d.) is characterised by an annoying thin facetiousness, a chatty superficial approach to the people whom he is describing, which irritates while it does not enlighten. His picture of his acquaintances will only be valuable to, those who have not read about them elsewhere. Dr. Compton-Rickett de- clares that he is alienated by an absence of a sense of humour in a man ; the reader, considering the author's lines on Swinburne's later life, or his reflections on love and laughter, will experience a similar revulsion. The most valuable portion of the book is the collection of letters from Rossetti to Swinburne ; and the most aggravating its illustrations, for they seem to have been strewn about the book without any regard for context.