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swank, is, in its exaggeration, almost 
in the class with those who 
found glory at the bottom of every
muddy trench. “Mattock,” by
James Stevens, while a tale of a 
non-combat division, gave a different 
version. It is the pathetic
record of a moron from Kansas, 
trying to be a Christian American
soldier and a good fellow to his 
comrades at the same time. The 
real talk and stuff of army life is
in this novel.

The historical novel seems to be
reviving. James Boyd, in “Marching 
On,” views the Civil War
through the eyes of a poor farm
boy in the ranks and obtains a 
new perspective. His novel is a 
faithful re-creation of the period of
struggle as it appeared to the ordinary 
individual shut away from
the gaudy moments of melodrama.
In “Forever Free,” Honoré Willsie
Morrow has written a satisfying 
biographical novel of the life of 
Lincoln up to the time of the 
Emancipation Proclamation. Evelyn 
Scott’s study of the pre-war
South in “Migrations” is from another 
point of view. She is concerned 
with the influence of ideas
upon Southern society. Her novel
is pungent and fragmentary. It
might be the start of a several
volume novel designed to show the
South moving West to various 
urges. In its characters and picturesque 
detail it is attractively engaging.

In her new novel Mrs. Atherton
reflects the life of ancient Greece. 
She has told the love life of Pericles 
and Aspasia against the rich
Hellenic background of Greece’s
Golden Age. Mrs. Atherton prefers
the brilliant figure, and in Aspasia
she has a character of high talent.
She appears the modern, unconventional 
woman, acting contrary to 
the accepted mores, in living with
Pericles, who could not marry her, 
having a wife already. Pericles,
too, comes alive in the novel; one
sees him as an ardent lover, a sorrowing 
father and an orator pleading 
magnificently in defense of Aspasia. 
The characters of Socrates,
Sophocles, Phidias and Alcibiades
are lifelike and add to the glamour 
of the Attic scene.

This brings us to the performances 
of some of the established
names in the novel. In “Twilight
Sleep,” Mrs. Wharton has written
one of her most technically perfect
stories. A wealthy woman masks
herself behind a complacently busy 
life of social interest in order that 
she may never come to close quarters 
with life. The inevitably tragic
episode occurs and is detachedly 
observed. It is a gracefully written, 
hard, relentless, ironic study
of “the best people” and their

Mr. Tarkington, in “The Plutocrat,” 
makes a hero of a Babbitt. 
This novel is Mr. Tarkington’s answer 
to those who go abroad and 
knock their native land. The greater 
part of the book is concerned
with the behavior of a boisterous 
business man abroad—a hearty fellow 
in whom Mr. Tarkington sees 
much of the heroic stuff of which
the old Romans were made.

In “Dear Old Templeton,” Miss
Alice Brown has written an old-
fashioned novel in her leisurely
manner. A man on in years attempts 
to break away and do what
he likes himself, only to discover
that his family are all too busy 
doing what they like to give him a 
chance. It has a quiet, understanding 
way and simple charm.
Again Anne Douglas Sedgwick
contrasts the civilizations of the
French and English. “The Old
Countess” is an interesting study
in character drawing—if not greatly 
distinguished. Her dexterity
turns an odd and extremely incredible

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