31 AUGUST 1878, Page 22

Vanessa Faire. A Novel. By George Joseph. (S. Tinsley.)—We frequently

find ourselves in very high company in this story, but the great folks are, generally speaking, either so very odd, or so very bad, that we have been unable to find even one thoroughly agreeable or in- teresting person among them. All seemed tarred with the same brush, and a very vulgar and stupid one it is, from the due to the attorney, from the "hero," a nobleman who stays in bed two whole days after the Derby, and thereby aggravates his misfortunes by miss- ing the Oaks, to the "heroine," whose uncalled-for, deliberate choice of unpleasant company brings about the incidents of the story, and who entirely deprives herself of our sympathy. The only spark of originality on this storyteller's part is in contriving to throw dust in the reader's eyes in regard of Vanessa's purity, by permitting her seemingly to elope with the duke in his yacht, but only, as it turns out, in company with the duchess, the conversations on deck continually misleading us, after a fashion common in certain plays, but happily rare in real life. We can give no idea of the preposterous character of our author's style, without long quotations. Occasionally, however, it rises to absolute unintelligibility. For evidence of this, we refer the curious reader (almost at random) to pages 184-5.