The standing toast that pleased the most Was—The Wind that blows, the ship that goes,
And the lass that loves a sailor.
• —Charles Dibdin.
AUGUSTUS HERVEY'S JOURNAL, edited by David Erskine (William Klaiber, 25s.),
nNE is not surprised that the 4.e/breezy memoirs of Augustus Hervey, third Earl of Bristol and Vice-Admiral of the Blue, have been kept under lock and key since his death in 1779 at the comparatively early age of 55.
They only cover the years from 1746 to 1759. and they deal just as much with the pleasures of the shore as with the perils of the deep. To put in bluntly, Hervey was a maritime C.asanova: every lass seems to have fallen in love with this gallant sailor.
The editor of this diary admits that he has made no attempt to count the number of the lassies: "Suffice it to say they were drawn from every stratum of society; princesses, duchesses, marchesas, countesses, the wife of a Doge, artists' models, publicans' daughters, nuns, actresses, singers. dancers. The portals of every salon were open to him by his birth and breeding; some qualities which are now lost to us--and which are not revealed by his portraits—opened to him those smaller doors which lead into more intimate rooms." But the exciting career of this aristotratic young naval officer was not confined to brief and scandalous love affairs; in the intervals of the 13 years recorded in his journal he took his profession very seriously, and for this reason this book is a most valuable contribution to an important period of naval history.
A WEEK OF STORIES, by Doris Rust (Faber, 4s. 64.).
THE stories broadcast by the B.B.C. in "Listen with Mother" are excellent radio and much enjoyed by the very small listeners for whom they are designed. Yet they sound so simple that one is tempted to think they must be easy to write. When they are seen in print, it becomes apparent that there is a good deal more in them than meets the ear, and that they are the outcome of a very deliberate and developed technique. The seven examples here should be useful to parents in search of a bedtime story. The illustrator, Shirley Hughes, draws very attractive and somehow distinctly modem children.
COORIN A, by Erie Wilson (Andre Deutsch, 8s. 6d.).
II/HEN Henry Williamson pubV V lished Tarka the Otter in 1927, he set a fashion for novels about animals, based on close observation of nature. He had for many years hordes of imitators. But the mode plainly could not last for ever; for to sustain interest through a fulllength hook, it required too large a degree of anthropomorphism for adults, other than the frankly sentimental, to tolerate for long. except in the form of fantasy. Within this limitation. Mr. Wilson's belated effort is a very good example of the school, and its unusual subject—a marsupial wolf-and its authentic and vividly recreated Australian background give it added interest.