22 JULY 1927, Page 38

THE HOMELAND OF ENGLISH AUTHORS. By Ernest H. Rann. (Methuen.

7s. 6d.)—If this little book has any merit, it is because of its attempt to include within one cover matter which can be found elsewhere within many. The word " Homeland," though, is one of_ doubtful meaning when we find East Anglia called the Homeland of Carlyle on the strength of his having described Bury in Past and Present and of having once lodged for a short time with FitzGerald near Woodbridge. And can Rye really be said to be Thackeray's homeland because part of the scene of Denis Duval is laid there ? It was James's of course. Mr. Rann, while talking of the Doone country and acknowledging that Blackmore cared little for topographical exactness, airily says that we must accept the Dooms as historical, but he would have done well to have given ground for the belief. When naming the Five Towns he enumerates six, and while his phrase " the uninspired industry of Trollope "- is a• matter of taste in criticism, to . speak of Crabbe's Parish Registrar (p. 23) and Drayton's Poly-Albion (p. 51) is not the kind of mistake we should expect to find in a book about writing folk. But the compila- tion must have meant many pleasant walks for the author and may give the reader the occasion for others.