7 JANUARY 1865, Page 27

Love's Strife with the Convent. 3 vols. By Edward Massey.

(Ward and Lock.)—This is as laughable a novel as has often issued from the press. The author's system is to set his characters conversing, say about fox-hounds, and then to give a chapter on the management and expense of a pack—or about quarantine, and then to give a chapter on the quarantine system. The chief characters are officers in the En- gineers, and the amount of military "shop" which this gives an oppor- tunity for is incredible. Their chief peculiarity, however, is a strong aversion to Popery, which they manifest by rescuing two young ladies from a convent and converting them to Protestantism, displaying an amount of theological learning which shows clearly that Mr. Massey has studied some ecclesiastical encyclopaedia very closely. For pure absurdity, probably the scene in which the nun is immured alive in a convent cellar, and the Engineer lover saps into the cellar just at the right moment, is the best in the book, but it has many rivals.