24 NOVEMBER 1877, Page 24

The Reign of Roses ; or, South - American Sketches.

13y E. C. Fermat. (Samuel Tinsley.)—The " Reign of Terror " in the Argentine Confederation forma the subject of this volume. The scene labours under the disadvantage of distance, considered in the sense of the fictitious interest of romance, the persons and the life described labour under those of strangeness and unattractiveness, which are unfortunately combined with a singularly common-place style, and extreme violence of opinion and sentiment on the part of the author. The history of what Mr. Fernau calls "the dreadful decade" during which" one man's despotic will "—that of Rosas—" pressed heavily on the social life of a whole nation," might no doubt furnish a plentiful crop of romantic realities to suit the purposes of writers of fiction ; but the author of this book is not calculated to reap that harvest skilfully. The stories he gives us hero are crude and extravagant. The author's style is occasionally very uncouth, AS, for instance, when the betrothed lover of a certain Dona Juanita is described as the "almost son" of the lady's lather. And it is said of Pedro, a gaucho, that "he thought it would be curiously pleasant to die for those whom he bad protected."