27 JANUARY 1900, Page 11


Reminiscences. By Mrs. Lynn Linton. Prefaced by Miss Beatrice Harraden. (Hodder and Stoughton. 3s. 6d.)—These are prints from untouched negatives,—often good likenesses, sometimes out of focus, and always having just the value we do attach to such studies. They are portraits of well-known people, not always under the best-known aspects, but as they appeared to the sharp-penned, soft-natured woman, who never wrote a kind thing, and rarely committed an unkind action, for her fellow-women. We are interested in seeing what we have often heard of her likes and dislikes ; yet we are really sorry that what might appear mere spitefulness should be accessible to persons who have no idea of the woman who penned it. It is not quite certain that these memoirs thus unfinished should have been given to the world ; yet had they been completed they would only have been longer, not gentler. They are not all detraction ; they depict some who are worthy of admiration. " The graciousness and feminine dignity of Mrs. Gaskell painfully impressed me. She was so sweet and yet so strong I So beautiful in form if only comely in face, yet not self-conscious." Of W. S. Landor Mrs. Lynn Linton naturally wrote with the devotion of a daughter. It was to her he flung across the table the well-known quatrain :- " I strove with none, for none was worth my strife; Nature I loved, and next to Nature, Art ; I warmed both hands before the Are of life : It sinks, and I am ready to depart."

" There is one little girl, at all events, who would be sorry," he said. There are many who in like manner regret the little girl grown old, into whose rooms, high above St. James's Park, many of all sorts and of every opinion entered on Saturdays in recent years, ipso facto " introduced to each other by coming through the door." To all her friends, and to none of her remaining foes, we commend this characteristic volume, if writing can be charac- teristic which must so mislead strangers as to the " dear, dead woman."