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Edward Frederic Benson, whose "Dodo" set agog all English society in the "Naughty Nineties," has added another successful novel to his long and creditale list. "Robin Linnet" besides being an easy and diveritng story of English country life among the "quiet rich," introduces in the person of its hero a living character, the charm of whose personality cannot but endear him to the most hardened of fiction hounds.
"Birds," as the hero himself is appropriately styled by his fellow, is the incarnation of the spirit of youth. Though preserving among hundreds of his own type an individuality at once winning and intriguing, Robin is a capital example of that type of Englishlad who left the playing fields of Eton and Harrow, the clositered seclusion of Oxford, or the placide reaches of the Cam to fling his life, a care-free sacrifice, on the altar of England's glory.
Robin's life and friends at the University, his familyand their friends at Grote and in London are pictured interestingly vivdly. Robin's relations with his mother, her afair with the gret Kuhlmann, and as a background, the whole fabrie of English social life before the cataclysm of 1914 are charmingly depicted. Even Mr. Benson's rather slip-shop style seems less obtrusive as the author approaches that great crisis when the destinyof nations trembled in the balance.
The conclision, though hardly startling is done in a masterly manner. It is good for the soul in these times of cloying commercialism to think back now and again to the days of consecration and high resolve, before the deepest shadows of war shut down upon the world. The spirit, of those not far distant days, now so hopelessly lost, forms they very essence of the latter pages of "Robin Linnet."
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