3 MAY 1924, Page 24

THE HOUSE OF PROPHECY. By Gilbert Canaan. (Thornton Butterworth. 7s.

6d. net.) Two years is a long interval to elapse between the first and second volumes of any novel ; but Mr. Gilbert Cannan's Sembal made a strong enough impression for the reader to welcome this further insight into the mind of a Jew. The interest of The House of Prophecy nominally centres round Melian Stokes and Matty Boswan, to whom he is engaged. Melian is an eminent philosopher who for his pacificist opinions suffered imprisonment during the War, and shortly after his release succeeds to a title. But in spite of Mr. Cannan's preoccupation with these characters, Sembal still dominates the novel. It is difficult to find means of knowing whether in real life a love passion would cause a Jewish financier to conduct operations of such far-reaching magnitude, and, though the author himself seems to be convinced that Matty would have abandoned her marriage when Sembal beckoned, the reader when he has closed the book will not

feel absolutely convinced. The present story throbs with post-War restlessness and ideals. It will be curious to see whether any solution is found in the third volume of the series, The Soaring Bird, promised as forthcoming in the publishers' list of Mr. Cannan's works.