10 AUGUST 1907, Page 25

A Book of the Cevennes. By S. Baring - Gould, M.A. (John

Long. Gs.)—"The historical associations," says Mr. Baring- Gould of the country which he is about to describe, "are rich, but mainly tragic." Tragic they are indeed; and they are described here with the force which our author knows so well how to put into his pen. There is the story, for instance, of the Bishops of Le Puy,—this unlucky place had the misfortune to be ruled by a Prince-Bishop (Mr. Baring-Gould, however, doubts whether a man whose "life is conspicuously at variance with his profession" does more to harm the Church than "the smug, smooth, colourless nonentities," on whom, doubtless, ho could lay his hand). Bishop Ponce de Tournon was "an assassin"; his successor took part in the crusade against the Albigenses. In process of time came the Huguenot troubles, and all the horrors, inflicted and suffered, which are associated with the Camisards. Of course, the massacres of the Jews were not wanting. In 1320 a choir-boy, having played truant, told a marvellous story of how he had been murdered and thrown into a well, and restored to life by the Virgin ! He was believed, and the well is still shown, and doubtless greatly honoured. Who can be surprised when an Anglican clergyman includes in his martyrology William of Norwich ? The Book of the Cevennes is relieved by lighter things, by excellent descrip- tions of scenery, and of monuments, historical and artistic, which have less terrible associations. We would also commend to our readers the account of Ferdinand Fabro and his writings. A thoroughly good and wholesome French novel is not always ready at hand.