2 DECEMBER 1911, Page 13



The Dangerous Age : Letters and Fragments from a Woman's Diary. Translated from the Danish of Karin Micheelia With an Introduction by Marcel Prevost. (John Lane. 3s. 6d. net.)—"In all the countries of Central Europe," writes M. Marcel Prevost in his preface, " the most widely read novel at the present moment is The Dangerous Age.' Such popularity of a melancholy and rather repelling book needs accounting for. it is the story of a woman of forty-three, told by herself, in which she makes the quite unjustified claim that in speaking the truth for her hysterical and neurotic pelf she speaks it for all other women. Elsie Lindtner (Elspeth Bagge before her marriage) having lived for twenty-two years with her worthy husband Richard, who bores her, and having fallen in love with a young architect, who cares very little for her, persuades her husband to arrange a friendly divorce and retires with two servants to a house in the wilds. After a year or [0 spent in dissecting herself and all her former friends, she invites the architect to join her. An hour's call is enough for him, and he civilly declines. Finding it impossible to endure her loneliness any longer, she proposes to rejoin her husband. But he is just about to marry somebody else, and Elsie decides to console herself with a trip round the world. The style of the book is telling; it is evidently well translated; and it has an air of sincerity and realism (not reality) which may account for its success among the many who like "problem" novels. In its own way- s morbid and unhealthy way—it is both curious and clever.