25 APRIL 1941, Page 20

My Uncle Frank. By Thomas Bodkin. (Robert Hale. 5s.) MR.

Bonitix's recollections of his boyhood in County Kildare, not far from the Curragh, are happily recorded with much of the true Irish humour. His uncle with whom he stayed must have been a remarkable man. For Dr. Francis MacManus had led the life of an average sporting landowner until he was forty, and only then decided to enter the medical profession with his eldest son. The only item in the examination that baffled him was the English essay; he passed at length by 'memorising an essay on General Gordon which his brother wrote for•him. Once qualified MacManus proved to be an excellent dispensary doctor. To his nephew he was a kindly host and a shrewd guide. When the boy invested a pound at the races and won, he was not scolded, but warned not to do such a thing again until he grew up. With the people the landlord-turned-doctor was, as we may believe, a favourite. It is pleasant to have a sketch of the old Irish country life without any reference to the political con- troversies that Ireland signifies for too many of us here.