7 JANUARY 1865, Page 27

Lord Lynn's Wife. 2 vols. (Richard Bentley.)—This story is an

imitation, we imagine a conscious imitation, of Miss Braddon's style, and if it is to be regarded as the work of a beginner it gives promise

of considerable future success. As it is, Lord Lynn's Wife—who, by the way, never is his wife—is eminently readable. She is the child of

a wealthy parvenu by an earl's daughter, and is endowed with every gift of person or mind which a heroine should have except a heart ; and the picture of a woman representing pure intellect, if not at all attractive, is not repulsive. Unscrupulous, too, as was her conduct in sending the artist whom she had secretly married to a madhouse, a man who marries a woman without letting her know that he is an epileptic and half a lunatic does her so cruel a wrong that one does not blame her overmuch for resorting to any expedient to conceal his existence. Amelia Darcy is not therefore so merely unpleasant as this kind of heroine is apt to be, and her character is developed with considerable skill. One character, however, will not make a novel, any more than one swallow a summer, and all the other figures on this can- vas are mere sketches. If the author would achieve a permanent reputation he must rely less on bigamy and murder, and cultivate the dramatic power which he undoubtedly possesses.