2 DECEMBER 1911, Page 40

The Doubts of Diana. By Evelyn Tempest. (Hodder and Stoughton.

6s.)—One is inclined to wonder whether both the books by Miss Tempest which have appeared since the pub- lication of " The McArdle Peerage" were written before or after that novel. What is quite obvious is that the author has not succeeded in attaining in her new volume the high standard with which she delighted her readers in her first story. The Doubts of Diana is an altogether lighter piece of work, and although the actual writing and character studies are clever, the plan of the book must be said to be rather commonplace. There is nothing new about a young lady who cannot make up her mind between two suitors, but Diana's flippant plan of having one husband for the country and another for London reminds us of nothing so much as Beatrice's answer to Don Pedro : " Has your Grace ne'er a brother like you ..

. . . for working days ?"

The best thing in the book is the account of the suffragette pro- cession. Miss Tempest's rather sardonic gift of humour finds ample scope in her description of the attitude of the police towards the suffragettes. It is to be hoped, however, that this facility for entertaining her readers will not in the end affect the higher qualities of the author's work. The figure of McArdle in her first book was a real creation, and the sam• may be said of Clement Purefoy. These slighter studies are hardly worthy of a pen which can do so much better, and we hope that Miss Tempest will give herself time to produce another novel as carefully and minutely studied as her first.