3 DECEMBER 1921, Page 26


[Notice in air column does not necessarily preclude subseiuenf review.] A Short History of the Papacy. By Mary I. H. Bell. (Methuen. 21s. net.)—Mrs. Bell attempted a very formidable task in compiling a short history of the Papacy, which implies an understanding of the history of Western Europe Irons the Christian era. But her book is well written, interesting and in the main commendably accurate, though the proofs have not been read with so much care as we could wish. She has taken pains to consult good authorities and to write dis- passionately, as becomes a sober historian. Of the one and only English Pope, Hadrian IV. (1154-59), she remarks that

" his sanity, his inborn ruling instinct and his robust methods in diplomacy stamp him as the traditional Englishman of the beat type." " He spent himself as Pope in disinterested self- sacrifice." Yet this Nicholas Breakspear, who as a lad had left his home at St. Albans and begged his way to France, where ho rose to fame, lamented his fate : " Oh that I had never left my native land of England or the convent of St. Rufus I Is there elsewhere in the world a.man so miserable as the Pope ? "