16 AUGUST 1930, Page 21

Just at this moment the British public takes a specially

keen pleasure in knowing what foreigners think of it. The feeling denotes a certain self-consciousness, but if we do not insist upon flattery it is not an unhealthy feeling. Dr. Knut Hagberg has already persuaded many readers in this country to listen to his criticism, and those who have enjoyed his former ♦plume, Kings, Churchills and Statesmen, will not be disappointed in Personalities and Powers (The Bodley Head, 12s. 6d.). Dr. Hagberg knows a great deal about us. One has only to read his delightful essay upon Lord Melbourne to see that he sees the fascination of Melbourne's mysterious, yet wholly English, character. " He was a broken lima. Life had crushed him. This, wonderful as it seems, was his strength, for his unconcerned idler's philosophy was consistent with cool objective observation. His peculiar combination of sentiment and cynicism was a sound basis for an under- standing of mankind." The essays on Parnell and on Rhodes are both very well worth reading. So indeed are all the papers, whether we regard them as portraits or as fancy pictures of men in English costume.

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