5 APRIL 1924, Page 33



Ma. A. C. BENSON has followed an unusual plan in his Memories and Friends (Murray) ; he has chosen to describe men of whom he had the most vivid and amusing impressions, whether they were famous or not. As a matter of fact he is much more interesting when he deals with those who are less known, for he often intersperses his recollections of notable authors with literary criticism, a disappointing practice. And so, though the book gives agreeable informa- tion on Ruskin, Henry James, Rossetti, and Rupert Brooke, the most lively chapters are those which set before us the house-masters, University dons, and personal friends whom Mr. Benson knew intimately. The third volume of The Farington Diary (Hutchinson) is published this week. Mr. R. B. Cunninghame Graham has written a history of The Conquest of the River Ptak (Heinemann). He confesses with pride that he has not striven for accuracy or " searched archives to determine if John or George or Peter were born in or out of wedlock " ; his object has been " to present some of the conquerors of the River Plate as human beings, and try to show that, taking into consideration the times in which they lived, they did not differ greatly from ourselves." And he seems to think that reviewers will object 1 They will be as much relieved as the rest of his readers. The same pub- lishers reissue Mr. Cunninghame Graham's A Vanished Arcadia. It will be good news to those who were amazed and excited by Beasts, Men and Gods, that Mr. Ferdinand Ossendowski has published a new book, Man and Mystery in Asia (Arnold).

The most important book received this week is Dr. M. R. James's translation of The New Testament Apocrypha (Claren- don Press). It is the first complete survey of the apocryphal literature of Christianity, and it contains fragments of tradition which may be authentic. Messrs. Macmillan send us a collection of essays on Reality and Religion by Sadhu Sundar Singh, which will interest those who remember Canon Streeter's account of the Sadhu and who can realize the value of a Vedantic scholar's enrichment of Christian theology.

Mr. E. E. Fournier D'Albe gives a popular account of the history of selenium in The Moon-Element (T. Fisher Unwin). The Spectator's readers will be familiar with a comparatively large number of the selections in Mr. Leonard Strong's The Best Poems of 1923 (Boston : Small, Maynard and Co.). Messrs. Ernest Benn again win our admiration by the splendour of their newest publication, Rodin. The book contains sixty photogravure plates, hand-printed on hand-made

paper, and an introduction by M. Leone Benedite.