29 JUNE 1889, Page 22

A Crown of Shame. By Florence Marryat. 3 vols. (F.

V. White and Co.)—Though there is much that is well written, and the delineation- of character is occasionally lifelike and vivid, the plot embodied in A Crown of Shame is revolting, and its.coarse- ness taints the whole narrative. The author brings into relief

the unsavoury details of this plot, and continually harps on the subject to such an extent as to damage even the character that is above suspicion. Lizzie Fellowes is really a noble and pure

woman, and also a lifelike and firmly outlined character, indeed, one of the best creations of Miss Marryat. Yet she is made to

say:" I will never marry you now ! Never ! Not if there was not another man in the world,"—somewhat of a jar on the high moral tone in which she has been speaking. The scene is laid in San Diego, and the tropical colouring, the life on the plantation, and the Negroes themselves, are really very good, and form a capital background ; indeed, we prefer the " coloured " part of the book to the "white." By the way, how is it that the " Indian " sun shines on San Diego ? Of course it is the same sun, and the writer may, indeed, have meant only to indicate its fierceness. While Miss Marryat's people are very human, De Courcelles and Maraquita especially so, we must conclude with expressing a regret that she could not have chosen a more wholesome plot, or at least managed her own plot more delicately.