5 APRIL 1873, Page 21

Ravensdale. 3 vols. (S. Tinsley)—This is a story of the

period when the disaffection of Ireland reached its culminating point, the closing years of the last century. The hero is an Irishman by family, but born in England ; sufficiently at home in Ireland to be able to see how things stand there, and sufficiently imbued with English ideas to be able to keep his judgment cool and clear. The story is moderately, not more than moderately, interesting. The hero finds himself involved in certain mysteries which are not of a very thrilling kind, and which are finally cleared up to the general satisfaction. There are two love affairs, both of which are conducted to a happy termination. On the whole, we should say that the material has been too much span out, and that the style is cumbrous and heavy. Here, probably, some attempt has been made to imitate the mannerism of the period, but the effect is not satis- factory. Writers of Irish stories must remember how formidable a rival they encounter in Charles Lover. Readers who remember "Charles O'Malley" will not find it easy even to be just to a book like Ravensdale. —Almost exactly the same criticism may serve for another tale, which may be noticed at the same time, Captain O'Shaughnessy's Sporting Career, an Autobiography. 2 vols. (Chapman and Hall.)—It is fairly good, but we cannot help thinking that there ought to be more fan in it. The Captain kills otters, foxes, salmon, dre., in Ireland, tigers in India, and kangaroos in Australia, and he introduces various incidents from real life, such as the fatal accident that happened a few years ago to a party of hunters at a ferry in the North, and various Court cere- monials, such as it is quite sufficient to have read about in the news- papers ; and he also introduces a love story, of which he is himself the hero. On the whole, the book is just readable, but we should not care to see it again.