28 AUGUST 1875, Page 23

Gentleman Verschoyle. By Laura M. Lane. 3 vols. (Sampson Low

and Co).—Miss Lane, whose first venture in novel-writing we take this to be, has given us here a book of some promise. Its chief fault we take to be a want of unity of interest. Are we meant to care about the hero, because, being a gentleman by birth, he descends to rough manual work, and manages by skill, prudence, and courage to hold his own against the rudeness and jealousy of the artisans among whom he comes ? Or is his marriage intended to be the centre of interest ? Are we to apportion blame between mother and son, and say how far she was wrong in resisting or he in persisting in it ? The marriage and its con- sequences fills a more than proportionate share in the story, but we really care very little about it. We do not believe that the mother will be unrelenting, and if she is, there is a pecuniary providence in the shape of a wealthy aunt. Old William, the groom, is a good character.