7 DECEMBER 1912, Page 14


In the Courts of Memory. By Mine. De Hegermann-Linden- crone. (Harper and Brothers. 12s. 6d. net.)-There will always be a certain indefinable pleasure in reading gossip, more or less intimate, concerning those whom the world calls great : it may not be a pleasure of a very high order, or a very worthy feeling, but at least it is universal ; and to this feeling a book such as this will make appeal. In the years from 1858 to 1875, Mme. De Hegermann-Lindencrone did undoubtedly know everyone "worth knowing." She stayed long weeks with the Emperor Napoleon III., she danced with the Prince of Wales and acted charades with Metternich ; and, almost every day, found time for a long, detailed, gossiping letter to her mother. These letters have now been published, and are a cleverly written record of long conversations, of compliment and excitement, of balls and picnics, of the Empire and the Commune. That they are attractive reading cannot be denied ; whether it is wise or worthy to make them public property is another matter.