LORD OF THE WILD, by Samuel Scoville Jr. (William Morrow & Co., $2.00), contains 13 stories of wild animals in their native haunts; the stories of fennecs in South Africa, grey wolves of the Artic, and cobras in India. Mr. Scoville, the author of three other books on wild life, and a field naturalist of long standing, evidently knows his subject well, and has the imagination and ability to give the reader an extremely vivid picture of the scene he portrays.
For some, however, Mr. Scoville may have outdone himself. His style is well illustrated in the following excerpt: "There under the seven stars of the bear began a battle great and grim with the half eaten carcass for the purse and death the loser's share."
James G. Dunton, in C'EST LA GUERRE (Stratford Co., Boston, 1928, $2.50) has collected a group of short stories written by men who actually went through the war. Written some ten years after "the recent unpleasantness", the stories show how hazy the unpleasant and grim side of the war has become, though leaving still the scores of amusing incidents to color the author's reminiscences. Although all the stories deal with the war, there is a wide variety of style and type. The collection is a good one and makes an excellent change in diet for the reader who has been confining his reading to longish novels.
Although lan Hay has always given us the impression of a lionized lecturer to ladies clubs, rather than of "a first-class fighting man", his latest opus. THE POOR GENTLEMAN (Houghton Mifflin Co., Boston, 1928, $2.50) is a pleasantly written adventure and mystery story. Mr. Hay tries to weave an element of political philosophy into the tale and manages to combine his propaganda with flection very agreeably. It is a story of love, bolsheviks, kidnappers, and whatnot, all culminating in a happy ending.
Gossip of the week among the publishers includes the interesting item that Lytton Strachey is reported to be considering Queen Elizabeth and her period for his next work. Remembering "Eminent Victorians", we feel constrained to admit our interest and express the hope that the report is not without basis.