2 NOVEMBER 1907, Page 40

The Halo. By Baroness von Hutton. (Methuen and Co. 6s.)

—There is a reminiscence of Charles de Bernard's very unpleasant novel, "17n Beau-pere," in the Baroness von Hutten's new book, though the situation in "17n Beau-pere" is, if possible, even more unpleasant. It is difficult to conceive that any woman could be quite so depraved in mind as Brigit Mead, though Baroness von Hutton presumably did not draw the character without being convinced of its truth. The book is anything but agreeable reading, and it is to be hoped that the pictures of the extreme corruption of "smart" society are as exaggerated as the portrait of the heroine. Baroness von Hutten must forgive us for pointing out to her that a person who is "Lady Sophy Brown" could not possibly be called by her friends "the grey-draped peeress." But for this slip, the speech and ways of a certain set are well drawn. The portrait of the violinist is an admirable sketch in the florid style, and it is a pity that the extreme depravity of mind which taints the atmosphere of the story like an unpleasant odour should prevent readers from enjoying the pictures of Anglo-French life in London, which are both amusingly and picturesquely drawn.