The Parents' Review

A Monthly Magazine of Home-Training and Culture

Edited by Charlotte Mason.

"Education is an atmosphere, a discipline, a life."


Volume 15, 1904, pg. 71-74

The Rising Generation, by Constance Maude (Smith, Elder, 6/-). Miss Maude has given us an entirely charming book about children; not, let us say frankly and at once, a book for children, but for mothers and fathers and aunts and uncles and all the persons who delight in the "rising generation." There is Jack and his sister Joan whose heart was sore because she was a girl; so, when Jack went to school, he managed to smuggle Joan in to the sports dressed in his old kilts, and entered her in the Strangers' race and, behold, she made a spurt and ran better than anyone for five minutes, and then--! Then there is that most dainty Betty who appears as A Young Socialist, and is perhaps the most penetrating and delicate of these child studies. Very pathetic is John Arthur, whose heart was a soldier's heart and his body a cripple's, and who lived a soldier's life all by himself in his playroom, with whole regiments of tin soldiers which he put through the maneuvres proper for many a great engagement, being intimate with the generals on both sides; and this was John Arthur's secret which nobody knew. "Billy" is not at all a cherub, being a quite terrible person of three, who ruled his parents and home people generally with a rod of iron. Then there is that delightful letter of Peter's, who could not say thank-you for a toolbox, and after a day of disgrace and much misery wrote a penitent note to his aunt, telling why--"there was a lump stoping the words coming out of my throte," and a nice aunt wrote back of the "lump," "I have had it myself as a child." As for Sportie and the Backfisch and the Reverend Frederick, to say nothing of Miss Midge, why they are all delectable children because they are convincing. Sportie, being an American boy, goes beyond our experience, but we accept him heartily. The American schoolgirl, on the contrary, is an unpleasant young person; and The Devout Lover does not quite appeal to us; we do not see why Kitty, belonging to so nice a family, should be a little common-minded, but perhaps she was. But to find spots on the sun is a thankless office. We have here a racy, charming, child-loving book, and the wise mother will read more educational theory between the lines than she would find in a score of books on psychology.

A Little Brother to the Bear, by W. J. Long (Ginn & Co, 7/6). We are profoundly indebted to Mr. Long, and to Mr. Copeland for the illustrations, though the author tells us that "all the sketches here are reproduced from my own note-books largely or from my own memory"; and fascinating and delightful sketches they are--the little coons at play, for example, and K'dunk, the Fat One, a most friendly toad, and the kingfisher attacking the mink, and the baby kingfishers at school. Mr. Long has done the only thing that is worth while in Nature study; he has made intimacies and he admits us into the intimacies he has made. The book reads like a romance of animal life, but it is not; for the author tells us, "except where it is plainly stated otherwise, all the incidents and observations have passed under my own eyes and have been confirmed later by other observers." The Kingfisher's Kindergarten is charming reading, and as charming is the page of Japanese-like marginal sketches which illustrate it. Mr. Long has already familiarised us in The School of the Woods with the notion that education is the function of parents in the animal world, also, and in this volume he brings forward many convincing proofs that thus it is--the school of the fawns for example. But indeed the cleverness, pluck, tenderness, foresight of the author's friends are a revelation; we are less sure as we read that man stands alone on a stately eminence. The Little Brother to the Bear should be a delightful possession for all lovers of animals.

Wild Nature's Ways, by R. [Richard]Kearton (Cassell & Co., 10/-). A volume from Mr. Kearton is always delightful. His camera studies open a new world to us, and we venture to say that we are far more intimate with the blackbird watching her chicks, with the missel thrush contented, expectant and annoyed, with the baby plover and ring ouzel, with that facetious young redshank, nay, with that very patch of daisies taken asleep and awake, than we should ever be with our human friends by means of their photographs. Why this book of Mr. Kearton's is so fascinating he tells us in his introduction--"This work is, as its title implies, an attempt to show something of the most intimate relationship of wild creatures at home, amidst their natural surroundings, and entirely unaware of the fact that they are under observation of any kind whatsoever." If we also could be "taken unawares," as Mrs. Cameron took Tennyson, we might have living portraits, worthy of a Watts, instead of the unhappy dummies we present to our friends. But then, not even Mr. Kearton could invent a cow or a sheep as a hiding-place which could beguile us into the notion that nothing was happening, so we must yield the palm to the naturalist's dumb friends. We cannot enough admire the courage, endurance and enthusiasm which go to the making of this delightful volume, in which pictures and text illustrate each other and are, in the language of photography, an exposure of Nature as she is.

The Boys' Handy Book, by D. [Daniel] C. Beard (Newnes, 6/-), professes to open "a new world of delightful and useful recreations for boys of all ages." There are chapters upon kites, fishing, fresh water aquariums, marine aquariums, water telescopes, the rigging and sailing of boats, bird-nesting, the rearing of wild birds, snow statuary, dogs, and many other matters in the forty-two chapters of this brightly written and entertaining volume. Some of the illustrations and "notions" (the book is American) should make an irresistible appeal to the boy-mind. Those who tried to make sailor knots will revel in the page of knots and splices. The volume is full of simple and ingenious devices, as, for instance, that of the sketching aquarium. A book which boys will delight in.

Clear Round: A Story of World Travel. by [Mrs.] E. A. Gordon (Sampson, Low, 3/6). We are heartily glad to see another edition of Clear Round. The child (or grown-up) who reads this sympathetic book of delightful travel will not only know a great deal about the world he lives in, but will have his sympathies awakened in many directions, and, above all, he will love Japan! The volume closes with a Buddist prayer, of which this is the last sentence,--"The welfare of all people is something for which I must work."

Australasia: The Britains of the South, by Philip Gibbs (Cassell, 2/6). We all want to be intimate with all of Britons of the Empire, so we are indebted to the author of this brightly written and well-illustrated volume. The picture of the sheep-raising in New South Wales is immensely impressive--an acreage of sheep, thick and unbroken as a field of corn. We think this book may give a turn to many a boy's dreams of the future,--"when I'm a man."

ART BOOKS.--Perhaps no departure in literature is more striking to persons who have passed middle age than the able and delightful studies of artists and their works which are put in our way on every hand. A good book of the kind was always to be had for two or three guineas, reliable so far as the art knowledge of the time went, but now you can buy a book by an expert, illustrated by photographs, for guineas, or for shillings, or even for one shilling. We owe special gratitude to Messrs. G. Bell & Sons for the good work they have done in this cause. Their Series of Great Masters (5/- each) combines the sort of experts criticism we expect to-day with sometimes enthusiastic and always sympathetic treatment of the artist and his work. Michael Angelo, by Lord Ronald Sutherland Gower, F.S.A., is a notable example of what we mean. [Pg 8 shows a list of others in the series.]"To one," says the author, "who since his earliest appreciation for what is greatest in art, has ever revered that mighty master, it may be allowed to add a tribute of homage by this little monograph to Michael Angelo Buonarotti." It is interesting to know that Mr. Watts prefers the painting of the great artist to his sculpture. The author devotes chapters to Michael Angelo as sculptor, painter, architect, draughtsman and poet. The few sonnets quoted are delightful and add to the profound veneration we feel in the contemplation of this great artist, though perhaps each reader will think of other sonnets of his to be preferred. There are some forty admirable photographs, illustrating the most important works, whether of painting or sculpture, a bibliography, a catalogue of the works, in fact, the information necessary for the serious student as well as for the general reader. By the way, did the master express his friend Vittoria Colonna in verse only, and never either with chisel or with brush?
Bell's Miniature Series of Painters (1/- each). Turner, by Albinia Wherry, contains a sympathetic and very interesting notice of the artist's life, a most instructive appreciation of his art, and a description of the eight works illustrated in the volume, together with a catalogue of his chief works. In fact, we have here a worthy introduction to the great master, of whom the author says, "that which Turner attempted, he achieved in a manner hitherto unprecedented." [Rossetti]
Constable, by Arthur B. Chamberlain, another little book of the same series, with a charming sketch of the master, and very charming illustrations, giving us that sense of repose which we get in the Constable country.

Typed by melissaknoll625, June, 2022; Proofread by LNL, June, 2023