10 MARCH 1900, Page 25

Mr. Charles A. Lidgey's Wagner (" The Master Musicians Series,"

J. M. Dent and Co., 3s. 6d.) is a great improvement on the opening volume of the series. Within the brief compass of two hundred and fifty pages it is obviously impossible for a writer to deal comprehensively with so vast a theme as the life, the works, and the influence of Wagner. Mr. Lidgey has dispensed with musical illustrations, and made very sparing use of anecdote, and the necessity for condensation imposed on him by the dimensions of the series is not redeemed by any special grace or distinction of style. His criticism is in the main sober, but it is rather a large proposition to assert that "Wagner's whole life was devoted single.heartedly to furthering the regeneration of the human race ; and who shall say that art may not be as potent to that end as—or, indeed, even more so than—politics ? " The later chapters contain useful analyses of the various operas, and the Volume is handsomely illustrated with portraits and facsimiles.