22 JUNE 1867, Page 23

Idols of Clay. By Mrs. Gordon Smythies. Three vols. (Saunders

and Otley.)—We have no wish to deprive any of Mrs. Gordon Smythies' competitors of their hard-earned laurels, when we state that this novel is without exception the silliest that we have ever had the privilege of reading. It seems to have been pieced together out of a number of old "Minerva Press" volumes, for we -know all the characters before we have well seen them, and we can predict almost every incident some pages before it is brought to light. Angels of beauty, demons of darkness, models of strength, secret passages, returned convicts, resur- rectionist men in league with sextons, marchionesses buried alive, passing for ghosts, and forbidding the marriage of marquises, are the component parts of the book, which is well called Idols of Clay, for it is made to be broken.