23 JANUARY 1909, Page 24

The Bias. By Marguerite Curtis. (W. Blackwood and Sons. 6s.)—It

is somewhat hard to credit the arrangement come to in the first chapters of this novel as to the education of Cynthia ,Jerome, the joint ward of George Street and Ernest Lancaster. That Mr. Street should have wished to give his ward every possible occasion for falling into temptation, so as to prove that the bias of woman's nature is naturally bad, may be conceivable ; but it is less easy to believe that Lancaster, who, on the contrary, `held the opposite view, could consent to such an arrangement, and only oppose the counterbalance of introducing the girl to a better way of life during the part of the year in which she lived with

him. However, the arrangement provides the author with an excellent opportunity for giving contrasted pictures of a frivolous life in London society, and a quiet existence of work in cottages in a country village. The book is well written, and the develop- ment of Cynthia's character cleverly managed.