11 JULY 1931, Page 28

What are the qualities which lend themselves to biography ?

Millicent Garrett Fawcett (John Murray, 15s.) was, we think, without 'them, able woman as -she was. Mrs. Oliver Strachey surely lacks nothing which should make her a first-rate biographer ; you cannot, however, get blood out of a stone. We do not mean to iniply:that the great leader of the Suffrage Movement was passionless ; she was capable of passionate ! sacrifice, enthusiasm, and resentment, but her heart, mind and strength were given to a cause. The white heat which it wdiked up in her soul seemed to dissolve her private personality, she became a representative not of her - sex, for she *Its not typical of it, but of the rights of her sex. Her life history is the story of a great war, bluffy preached, astutely sustained, finally won, Mrs. Strachey knows every

detail of her bit of history and genuinely admires the efficient commander round whom her scenes revolve. She has not written a dull book—we doubt if she could—but she has failed to persuade her heroine to get down off the platform and speak to us in the ear. * * * *