11 MAY 1929, Page 32

Mark Twain was a Baconian, as Mr. James M. Beck

reminds us in his preface to Sir Dunbar Plunket Barton's attractive book on Links between Shakespeare and the Law (Faber and .Gwyer, 12s. 6d.). And the otherwise shrewd American's main reason for holding that Bacon wrote the plays attributed by all reasonable people to Shakespeare was that their author „must have been ' a • lawyer deeply read and of limitless =experience." Sir Dunbar examines the legal allusions in the plays and has no difficulty in showing that most of them -wore current coin in Elizabethan literature and that their significance has been wildly exaggerated by Lord Campbell, Mark Twain and Other -prejudiced commentators. The little volume is very charmingly illustrated with Elizabethan portraits.