2 DECEMBER 1911, Page 7

A NEW FAIRY STORY.t Mss. LANE thinks that " Honey-Bee"

will join " her enchant- ing companions, Cinderella, Red Riding Hood, the Sleeping Princess," and other fair ones of Fairy Land. It may be so

• (1) Pioneers in Canada. By Sir Harry Johnston. London : Blackie and Son. [63.]—(2) Pioneers in West Africa. Same author, publishers, and price. t Honey-Bee. By Anatole Prance. A Translation by Mrs. John Latta. London John Lane. [5s. net.] it is not easy for a new comer to make her way into that sisterhood, or, to put it generally, for the modern fairy story to be ranked with the old. Has it ever been done ? Possibly by Wonderland Alice. Another success it would not be easy to mention. Even this is doubtful, although it is clear that "Lewis Carroll " rivals the nameless authors of the ancient fairy stories in this, that he has been followed by a crowd of imitators. Who, then, is " Honey-Bee "P She is the child of the widowed Countess of Blancheland, who, knowing that she is to die from seeing a white rose on the cushion of her prie- Dieu—the Blancheland equivalent for the family banshee— commits her child to the care of the Duchess of Claridas, also a widow—in those days if a man wished to live long he had to be a monk. The Duchess has an only son, George by name, and the two children grow up together, not by any means "too good for human nature's daily food," but very natural, delightful children. After a while they plan a perilous expedition to the lake where the pixies dwell. George, indeed, knows the dangers of the place, but he can- not resist his companion's taunts. George is carried off by the pixies. Honey-Bee happily failing asleep, and so escaping notice, comes into the more kindly custody of the dwarfs. If anyone has hitherto regarded the dwarfs as malicious and mischievous he now finds himself to have been wrong. They are far wiser and better than men, and cannot help despising them ; but they bear them no ill-will. Lok, the dwarf king, is a. model of kindness and justice, all the more to be admired that he does not reach the heights of self- sacrifice without painful effort. The pixies, we find, are less admirable. We must not spoil the story by anticipating the end. It must suffice to say that it is a very pretty piece of fancy and that Mrs. Lane has done the best possible with the impossible task of putting M. Anatole France's charming style into adequate English. Miss Florence Land- borg's illustrations show a fancy not inadequate to the occasion.