23 DECEMBER 1905, Page 23

In the Sixties and Seventies. By Laura Hain Friswell. (Hutchinson

and Co. 16s. net.)—Miss Friswell, daughter of a writer who is, perhaps, not as well known to the present genera- tion as he deserves to be, records here something of what she saw, heard, or thought in what we may call the Middle Victorian period. Readers whose memories go back as far will find many associations of early days agreeably revived in these pages. The author lived among literary people, and probably saw them under their best aspect. If she ever heard of Bohemia, it was only oa the romantic and picturesque side. As we look through the chapter we see almost every name that has survived to the present, and some that have not. The book is curiously without " purple patches "—we do not find anything that lends itself to extract—but it is good to read. Perhaps the dramatic recollections are as interesting as any. The actor's fame is commonly short-lived—how few names have really survived !- and it is well to give it a little further extension. Who, for instance, knows now the name of Creswick. Yet here is a judge, and apparently a competent judge, who thought his Hamlet a better performance than Irving's (she says nothing about Fechter, though Fechter, barring his unconquerable accent, was the ideal Prince of Denmark). One thing is wanting, a portrait of the writer as she was in the " sixties and seventies." It is hard to leave us vainly endeavouring to realise the charms which a more fortunate generation seems to have combined to admire.