4 MARCH 1905, Page 23

His Island Princess. By W. Clark Russell. (Methuen and Co.

6s.)—Mr. Clark Russell's story consists of two rather disconnected parts. In the first place, he excites the interest of his readers in the convoy of ships which, under Commodore Phillip, took the first batch of convicts to Australia in the year 1787. But nearly fifty pages later the hero is decoyed on board an American ship, after the wrecking of which he comes to shore on a lonely island, where he meets the "Island Princess" of the title. It is quite true that in order to arrange a romantic wreck for his hero Mr. Clark Russell has first to get him into suitably romantic waters. But the reader has just ground for complaining that his interest is excited in the fortunes of a set of people who- have nothing on earth to do with the main plot of the story. Mr. Clark Russell gives a charming account of the Princess of the Island, and it is surely unnecessarily cruel of him to murder her in the last pages. The end of the book, with its sudden and unex- plained departure of the hero from the narrative, is rather clumsily managed, and altogether, though there are some good things in the story, it is not quite up to the author's usual standard.