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The Bookshelf

MONT-SAINT MICHEL AND CHARTRES, by Henry Adams. Boston. Houghton-Mfflin Company. $3.00. 1936.


The reading public will welcome this new and inexpensive edition of Henry Adams's study of medievalism, the earlier and companion-volume to his "Education of Henry Adams." In the two works the great historian-artist-philosopher set out to contrast, the unity of the middle ages with the individualism of the present day. Neither was written for general consumption but rather as an intellectual exercise for the author's peculiar benefit. They are thus full of ripe personal wisdom and illumined by the brilliant yet wary genius of the man Adams.

"The Education of Henry Adams" was published several years after the author's death and attained a tremendous popularity which it will doubtless hold so long as literature lasts. It has been issued in a number of different inexpensive formars. "Mont-Saint Michel and Chartres" by the nature of its subject is a more technical and a more difficult book to read. It is an experience in aesthetics and the philosophy of aesthetics that is unrivalled by anything in any tongue; the "Stones of Venice" is uninteresting beside it, and it excels the ordinary artistic appreciation as Chartres itself excels Memorial Hall. It is to be hoped that its re-issue in this cheaper and more convenient form will bring it the large number of serious readers it deserves. A.C.B.

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