4 APRIL 1914, Page 26

A Lady of Leisure. By Ethel Sidgwick. (Sidgwick and Jackson.

6s.)—Miss Sidgwick's new book at first makes one feel like a mere acquaintance present at an intimate family gathering; we are interested in what the people say, but we cannot, without some difficulty and quick in- eight, understand all the allusions. They talk to each other, never to the gallery. For this reason, if for no other, the story has a claim to be read twioe. Towards the end our acquaintance develops into knowledge, and we know enough of the characters to be conversant with all.theiraffaire. And from the beginning we always wanted to,be friends with that family: each member of it has individuality, but among them there is not one caricature, for Mies Sidgwick's restraint in the drawing of character is too well known to need comment; she is never content to make use of a " type," and even her chauffeur is a man, nit a etage super. Indeed, there is scarcely an improbability in the wholenarrative, unless it be the central fact of Violet's marriage to Charles; that Violet, with her independence, her fine, generous tact, her charming brilliancy, should merry a man with no brains and little character to .recommend him, is almost incredible. Although it is doubt- ful whether a book of so little weight will do much either to make or to mar the author's reputation, it is.a further and delightful proof of Miss Sidgwick's power as a writer of fiction.