24 APRIL 1886, Page 24

From Out the Silent Past. By Mrs. Herbert Martin. 2

vole. (Ward and Downey.)—This is one of the stories which turn on a change of identity, so to speak. The first part tells us of the marriage of a certain Dudley Wynn, to a certain American young lady, who simu- lates suicide and so elopes. In the second, the daughter of Dudley and Freda, appears as the child of a certain hypochondriac, Mr. Hewitt, and is, of course, when the exigencies of the story require it, transferred to her true position. We do not say that such changes never take place, but they are certainly very rare—it would surprise us if any reader of the Spectator were to write and declare that he knew of such a

case—whereas in fiction they are of constant occurrence. About 10 per cent. of the heroines of fiction change their parentage. We own that we look with some dislike on thisi way of arousing the reader's interest, and find that it seldom goes with any superlative excellence of style.