26 MARCH 1898, Page 26

Little Journeys to the Homes of Great Women. (G. P.

Putnam's Sons.) — This is a very handsome and very readable book, although it is rather too full of that not specially lofty American humour which obtains vent in such digressions as" Kipling is quite a commonplace person. He is neither handsome nor magnetic. He is plain and manly, and would fit in anywhere. If there were a trunk to be carried upstairs or an ox to be got out of a pit you'd call on Kipling if he chanced that way, and he'd give you a lift as a matter of course, and then go on whistling with hands in pockets." But when the reader gets accustomed to eccentricities of this kind, and to all sorts of little moralisings, such as "The world is run by second-rate people ; the best are speedily cruci- fied, or else never heard of till long after they are dead," he finds that he has here the sufficiently interesting biographies of twelve famous women, beginning with Mrs. Browning, closing with Mrs. Shelley, and including, among others, Charlotte BrontE, Harriet Martineau, Mary Lamb, Jane Austen, Rosa Bonheur, and Eliza- beth Fry. Occasionally, as in the case of the Empress Josephine, the author takes a too high view of his heroine. But this error is not committed too often.