The Book Mark^
By Joseph C. Keeley
NORTHERN PRIVATE .
BOY IV BUIE. By Royce Brier. 322
pp. New York: It. AppletonA'.entury
t o. $2.. r yo.
THERE is little of the glory of war
in the experiences of the “Boy
in Blue,” Robert Thane, private in the
157th Indiana Infantry in the Civil
War. As sensed by this uneducated
farm boy, the war, or more particu
larly the campaign in the Valley of
the Cumberland, was a succession of
dystentery, lice, dust, incessant march
ing and other inconveniences.
“Boy in Blue” is the work of Royce
Brier, Pulitzer Prize winner for re
porting in 1934, and the book shows
evidence of a mas*~r <'es
criptive powe ~ ~
tail. With the background of his can
vas depicting tne „
in the vicinity of Chattanooga, wlr.
Brier has presented in the foreground
a picture of Robert Thane, a soldier
It is this Robert Thane who, dis
appointed in love, joins the army, hop
ing for a speedy and, if possible,
dramatic death. What the conflict
costs him physicially, however, is more
than compensated for by his gain in
ideals and the love of the Southern
girl, Ann Countiss.
The romance of Robert and Ann,
while providing a motivating force
for much of Mr. Brier’s story, is
yet subordinated to the realism of
war, which is intensified by contrast.
To Thane and his fellows, the war was
neither a fight for ideals nor the op
portunity to achieve glory. It was just
a nasty job that had to be done.
Everything about it was selfish. For
reasons he could never understand the
privak? was made to do things he
didnT want to do—things that made
him feel uncomfortable or worse.
The author in telling all these
things and the soldiers who had to do
them, has succeeded in painting an im
pressive picture of the Civil War and
its rank and file.
&& & ,
BEAU. By Mrt. Harry Hugh Smith.
286 pp. New York: Areadia Haute.
The story of Carolyn Webster, spoiled
young aristocrat, who falls in love
with an independent young fellow who
runs a filling station to support a
family of seven and who plays foot
ball for his college tuition. Their mar
riage results in problems and a cer
tain amount of friction which of course
are worked out to a happy ending
IMPASSIONED FOOTHILLS. By
Kathleen Roll inn. 287 pp. Net* York:
Arcadia Houte. $2.00.
Laid in the Carolina foothills, this
story tells of a mountain feud which
threatened to destroy the happiness
of Gloria Crosby and Tevis Malone.
How they freed themselves from the
web of tradition makes good light
‘pomp qAND circumstance
KING EDWARD VIII, 4n Intimate
Biography. By Hector Bolitho. 328
pp. Philadelphia: J. B. Lippincott
JpOR those who have largely for
* gotten David, Prince of Wales, be
cause of the pyrotechnics of the reign
df Edward VIII, the shortest reign
in the history of England, this book
of Hector Bolitho’s will prove valu
able. For Mr. Bolitho, the official nar
rator of Edward when he was Prince
of Wales, here tells the entire story
of the now Duke of Windsor, calmly
and dispassionately, from the time he
played around the lawns of his great
grandmother Queen Victoria’s White
Lodge, to the time he made his fa
mous speech of abdication.
Foregoing the sensational, Mr.
Bolithfi traces the course of the
promising heir to the throne, telling
of his student days in France. Ger
many and at Magdalen College, Ox
ford. He describes the four years
spent by the young prince at the
battlefronts of France, where he
fought continuously for the privilege
of remaining in the danger zone. He
follows the still youthful David, after
the war, in his career as England’s
Prince of Salesmen, in all corners of
It is here that the narrative glis
tens with the color and pomp of em
pire pageantry, as the Prince of Wales
was welcomed not only to Britain’s
dominions, but to other countries
where the hand of friendship would
help home industry. "Older people,”
says Mr. Bolitho, “were almost
shocked by his business-like air, and
they sometimes hinted that his dignity
was risked when he made so many
practical efforts to catch business for
Britain in the countries which he
Year after year the Prince con
tinued his triumphal procession, mar
red only by such incidents as Gandhi’s
attempts to boycott the ceremonies..
If there is a villain in the book, it is
the Mahatma, and his attempts at
If you want to write a best-seller, it is a good idea to become first of all an
international figure. The next best system is to write about someone who will be
certain to do something sensational about the time your book is published.
Os the first category of best-seller writers, Adolf Hitler and Mussolini are
excellent examples Lately to join them has been Premier Leon Blum. Back in
1912 the French Premier wrote a treatise on marriage. It advocated many
unorthdox theories of matrimony, but few people bothered to buy or read it.
Lately, however, it has been re-issued and has become a best seller in Europe,
to M. Blum’s embarrassment.
Several months ago, Hillman-Curl, Inc., published "God in a Rolls-Royce*
the story of Father Divine. The book sold for a time, then languished. However,
immediately following the arrest of the Negro evangelist, a few weeks ago’
sales of the.book soared to a new peak.
• • •
Hervey Allen, whose “Anthony Adverse” sold well over a million copies
is working on “Action at Aquila”. The book has not been definitely scheduled
for publication, although it is expected for the Fall of this year.
• • •
A new organization of book-lovers known as The Discoverers and with mem
bership limited to 2,500 operates in an unusual manner. As in other book clubs,
members agree to take a certain number of books during the year. For these, the
regular list price is paid. However, subscribers receive first editions that are auto
graphed by the authors. Since care is taken to select only books that bid fair
to become of lasting importance, members of the club secure books that may
become highly valuable.
sabotaging the Prince’s triumphal
tour of India are considered by the
author as being in decidedly poor
taste. However, in spite of Gandhi’s
efforts, the splendor of India was made
David’s. In Gwalior, for example,
“. . . the Prince traveled to the palace
at the head of a procession of jewelled
elephants; the one upon which he rode
was a hundred years old, and when it
moved its colossal gold legs a hun
dred silver bells tinkled on its crim
son mantle . . . and when the great
men of Gwalior came to the Prince
they carried trays of precious stones,
and the table upon which the banquet
was served was a stream of silver and
Upon the completion of his tour
of South America the Prince ceased
his roaming, but, according to Mr.
Bolitho, something was missing from
his life. Instead of freedom he was
faced with rigid court discipline. Na
turally self-willed, he made a life
which took him into three worlds. One
was that of his good deeds; another
was that of his father’s Court, which
irked him; and the third was a circle
of friends which distressed his father
“who suspected their influence.”
The change in the Prince’s life
was reflected in his personal habits.
Once kind and considerate toward his
servants, he became petty. Again, on
the death of his father, the Prince
stayed away from his mother, at Fort
Belvedere, when he should have been
with her. “He apparently suffered no
self-reproach,” says the author. As for
the new King’s apparent wish to do
what was right, he adds, “It was not
in his nature to deceive other men,
but it was a sad fault in his nature that
he was able to deceive himself.” Thus,
he says, the Prince was sincere in his
promises to his subjects, whether they
were Maoris, Hindus or Welsh miners.
Naturally, there is a good deal of
attention paid to Mrs Wallis Simp
son, even though a relatively small
portion of the book concerns her. The
sensational episode is handled sanely
by the writer. Viewing the tragic de
nouement of Edward’s reign from the
standpoint of one inside, Mr. Bolitho
sympathizes with the monarch, even
though “sympathy is not enough.” By
his own shortcomings, or by his
changed character, if you will, the
King has failed and no longer merits
the throne. And yet the King is shown
ending his reign “wisely and en
selfishly towards the country.” In his
last days and hours the unhappy King
is shown at Fort Belvedere acting in
away that makes the world echo Mr.
Baldwin’s words, “I honor and respect
him for the way in which he behaved
at that time."
THE LAURELS ARE CUT DOWN. By
Archie Binnt. 332 pp. New lock:
Reynnl & Hitchcock. $2.30.
THE story of two brothers of pio
neer stock is combined with an un
forgettable account of the American
expedition to Vladivostok during the
World War, in “The Laurels Are Cut
Down” by Archie Binns. The author
of “Lightship” in his new book has
again presented a significant and
finely written story.
It is the story of the brothers
George and Alfred Tucker, their back
ground, and their adventures. The two
boys grow up at the turn of the
century in the Puget Sound country.
On their characters is the mark of the
vast forests about them, and in their
hearts the adventurous spirit of their
Then there is a girl, beloved by
both of them. But even Clarice Jack
son cannot come between George
and Alfred. It takes a war to separate
them, war and a grave in Siberia for
George. Alfred returns to find his
country and Clarice strangely changed.
Forces almost as destructive as those
he saw at work in Siberia are laying
waste his beloved Puget Sound forests,
and old ideals are being replaced by a
passion for the shoddy of material
* wJ *' A
*- Ti -vk X
Distressed at what he sees, Alfred
Tucker yearns for the America he
knew before the war. Yet, by attempt
ing to explain the Russian uprising
as a result of oppression, he is looked
upon with suspicion—as a Communist.
Clarice herself cannot understand it
when he refuses to return to the land
of the Soviets, even in her company.
Most readers of “The Laurels Are
Cut Down’’ will find their greatest
enjoyment in the account of the trip
the boys made to Alaska in a home—
built sloop and/or the story of the
American expeditionary force in
Siberia under General Graves. These
chapters are Archie Binns at his best
★ ☆ *
DIVORCE AND AFTER
PATTERN OF THREE. By Marc Ha»t
ingg Bradley. 303 pp. New York: It.
Appleton-4 .entury Co. $2.00..
The triangle formed by Eve and
Dick Kendall and Kay Hardy form
the "pattern of three” which Mary
Hastings Bradley employs as a case
to work out two problems of marriage.
One of the problems is: How far
should a woman go in trying to regain
the affections of her husband in love
with another woman? The other is*
What responsibility should a man feel
for the happiness of his divorced wife
after he has married a second time? In
her working out of these two highly
debatable questions. Miss Bradley has
come to conclusions that are wide open
to argument Undoubtedly, many of
her readers will consider that the
author has done the first wife wrong.
There will be few arguments, though
about the merits of the writing. For
Bradley enthusiasts this a “must”.