Godey's, the oldest of the magazines, follows the good old custom of proffering Christmas confections in their proper season. The December number is notable, therefore, with Yule-tide fiction and verse, besides such seasonable articles as "Holiday Decorations," "Christmas, Past and Present," and "Christmas Day in a Japanese Go-down"-this latter richly illustrated by C. D. Weldon. Perhaps the chief feature of this number is, however, an extensive account of the great "Federation of Women's Clubs," a forerunner of the January issue, which is to be a special "woman's number." Beaumont and Fletcher's dramatic critique discusses the fine points of "Hamlet" as rendered by the great actors of historic and contemporary fame. The musical article treats of H. W. Parker's compositions. A work of dignity is a dramatic poem, "The Templar." A new school of portraiture on wood, and the "Masterpieces of French Sculpture," are two lavishly illustrated art articles."
Conspicuous among the contents of the December Atlantic is another of John Fiske's historical studies. It has for a title The Starving Time in Old Virginia, and is an important historical contribution as well as delightful reading.
Other articles of interest are A New England Woodpile, an outdoor sketch, by Rowland E. Robinson; The Defeat of the Spanish Armada, by W. F. Tilton; An Idler on Missionary Ridge, a Tennessee sketch, by Bradford Torrey; Being a Typewriter, a discussion of the relation of the machine to literature, by Lucy C. Bull; Notes from a Traveling Diary, a study of the new Japan, by Lafcadio Hearn; and To a Friend in Politics, an anonymous letter.
There are further chapters in Gilbert Parker's powerful serial, The Seats of the Mighty, and two poems of exceptional quality, The Song of a Shepherd Boy at Bethlehem, by Josephine Preston Peabody, and The Hamadryad, by Edward A. Uffington Valentine.
Book Reviews and the usual departments complete the issue.