31 AUGUST 1878, Page 22

Avondale of Avondale. By Utter° Barre. 3 vols. (Remington.)— We

cannot disguise our opinion that this is a yen; tedious book. To give with fictitious names, which very thinly veil the real personages for whom they are intended, a rechatiffe• of the political history of the last five-and-twenty years is not a very hopeful task. If we have to make or to renew acquaintance with it, let us do so in the regular way. There are biographies which illustrate it ; there are formal histories which relate it. But it is not made more easy to comprehend, more instruc- tive, or more amusing, by finding that Lord Palmerston is spoken of as Lord Liffey, Earl Russell as the Earl of Gaymouth, or Mr. Gladstone as Arthur Stuart Maitland. The only effect that we see or conjecture in these unmeaning personations is that the writer is less scrupulous and guarded in his ways of speaking of the fictitious persons, than he probably would be with the real. Both Lord Russell and Mr. Glad- stone are treated, we think, with gross injustice. What is the worth of a political judgment which describes the former as" a fussy meddler, never satisfied save when making a noise ?" Besides the politics of the book, there are scenes of private life. The writer has sought to make them attractive by a certain tinge of impropriety. But we doubt whether people will care to read about Anricoma, any more than they will care to read about Mr. Jardine.