28 OCTOBER 1876, Page 22

A Woman Scornej. By E. Owens Blackburne. (Tinsley Brothers.)— The

praise of novelty must be accorded to the device by which the hero- ine and the hero are first introduced to each other. She catches hold of what she fancies to be a dragon-fly, finds that it has a hook in it, and has to be set free and healed of the wound inflicted by the gentleman who is to develops into her lover. The difficulties under which this development takes place are of a less original kind, though they are such as to excuse the unpatriotic dislike to their country of which Miss Blackburne accuses many Irishmen. If such persons as the beautiful Judith are at all common in Ireland, it must be a very disagreeable place indeed. A young lady who poisons a rival, causes a reluctant lover to be shot, and arranges for the sale of her sister to a hateful and ludicrous old husband, is a dangerous member of society ; nor are we quite reassured by the vengeance which overtakes her on the last page but two, where she is torn in pieces by dogs, or so nearly torn in pieces that she has but time to repent and be forgiven. That is a kind of Nemesis which is not at all unlikely to confound the innocent with the guilty, and it is not altogether in favour of Ireland to find it a recog- nised mode of punishing crime. The story does not do a credit, as regards either its plot or its style, to a writer who seems, from the list of works on the title-page, to have had some literary experience.