15 JULY 1876, Page 22

Blotted Out. By Annie Thomas (Mrs. Ponder Ondlip). 8 vole.

(Chapman and Hall.)—If the anther is holding up the mirror to the nature of woman, she has a very ungrateful task to perform. Blotted Out is a story of how a clever and good girl throws away the treasure of her love on a selfish scoundrel, and not only does this, but for his sake condescends to meanness and deceit. His beauty, which of course we must take for granted, and his manners, which, to a manly judgment at least, seem detestably insolent, simply fascinate her. Nor are we allowed to believe that she is blind to his faults. She tells the story herself, and makes it plain that she sees what the fellow is as clearly as the reader sees it. Add to this that the man has been her sister's accepted suitor, that he leaves this sister to marry a wealthy old woman, and that being so married, he tries to deceive another young girl, and that in spite of all this the heroine continues to love him madly and dies loving him, and it will be seen that Mrs. Cudlip has a very mean opinion of the wisdom of her sex. There is hardly a character in the book whom it is possible to recall with any pleasure. The honest man, Sydney Dale, is, after all, a weak creature, who cannot keep his heart steady, and is just as much fascinated by the beautiful Claire as "Tim," the heroine, is fascinated by the beautiful Theo. There is certainly no pleasure, and we cannot think that there is any profit, in reading a novel of this kind, it is so thoroughly cynical in conception and execution. It is to be regretted that a writer of so much ability should so spend her time.