29 JANUARY 1927, Page 24

. MORTAL 11SLAGE. By Elinor Wylie. (Heinema 7s. 6d.)—Miss Elinor

Wylie has re-created Shelley, or rat she has snatched his drowning liody from Italian war and granted him new loves and adventurous journeys America.

The machinery she has employed is a little complieat In 1822, as an American brig, carrying her cargo of f wine, oil and the corpse of a murdered sailor, bore out Leghorn harbour, the unconscious body of a man was rese from the water and brought on board. This -person (S as he called himself) so strangely resembled the corpse deck that it was decided he should take its place and th save the murderer from further embarrassment. A cha of garments was effected : the sailor, with copies of Soph and Keats in his pocket, was thrown overboard.

- All this is neat, but unconvincing. Yet the Shelley wh Miss Wylie has revived for us with his flaming ardour, chit vanity, and queer passions, is so vital that the most incredul reader will wonder from time to time if the poet, " alwa in love with something or other," still wanders about Kano and continues to err " in seeking in a mortal image likeness of that which is eternal."

It is a dangerously difficult subject and the book at ti hovers on the brink of bathos, but the author rescues art as neatly as she rescued Shelley and is to be congratula on many escapes.