30 JUNE 1923, Page 21

The Conquered. By Naomi Mitchison. With introduction by Ernest Barker.

(Jonathan Cape. 7s. M.)

There is no criticism to be offered about this book. We

can only say that we think it one of the best historical novels we have read. Apart from the vivid reality of scenes and details of dress, food, and customs of Gaul and Roman, there is a larger accuracy. The author has reproduced the fierceness, the terrible lusts and cruelties of conqueror and conquered. And also the whole spirit of the mystical Celt

- torn by his erratic temperamentalism hangs over the book,

adding to the tragedy of this tale of conquest. The wonder, the bravery, the beauty of the Gauls ; the treachery by which they work their own undoing ; the political subtlety and intrigue ; the sordid civilization in Rome ; these things are all portrayed, giving the tale- a poignancy that is almost heartbreaking.