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[Review of Gilbert Elgar's Son] The [Christmas] Bookseller, (London:The Office), 1890, 84. Gilbert Elgar's Son. By Harriet Riddle Davis. (G. P. Putnam's Sons.)There is a catch in the title of this novel that for the moment puzzles the reader. Gilbert Elgar's son is his daughter! There had been a son and he died; and out of love for the lost son, the bereaved father gave the daughter (when she came into the world) a boy's name. Hence the mystery of the tale. Being the heroine, Robin Elgar is loving and charming, and the men folkor at least the unmarried portion of themare smitten with her beauty. Maryland is the scene ; an old-time mansion of Queen Anne's reign is the girl's home; the society of the place being chiefly composed from the ranks of the old-established quaker community of those parts. They use the language of the friends, mixed with the provincial peculiarities of rural Maryland speech. Among all her suitors the man that is nearest to Robin's heart is far away, her cousin Dick, studying in Germany. '' S'pose women 'd think 'im han'some," is the description of him given by one of his rivals: "he's got blue eyes, an' red hair, an' is thun'erin' big." Of course the owner of these distinguishing features returns in due time, and is accepted by Gilbert Elgar's "son."

"Works of Fiction Referring to Friends." The Friends Intelligencer, vol 48, 1891, 284-5.

WORKS OF FICTION REFERRING TO FRIENDS. The Haydocks' Testimony. By L. C. W. Published by Request of the Christian Arbitration and Peace Society, Philadelphia, 300 Chestnut street. Pp. 276. 1890. A Quaker Home. By George Fox Tucker. Pp. 420. $1.50. Boston: George B. Eeed. 1891. Gilbert Elgar's Son. By Harriet Riddle Davis. Pp. 450. New York: G. P. Putnam's Sons. 1890. Down The O-hi-o. By Charles Humphrey Roberts. Pp. 313. $1.25. Chicago: A. C. McClurg & Co.

The recent publication of Amelia E. Barr's elaborate story of Quaker life and conditions in England in the days of George Fox, " Friend Olivia," has been followed within a few months by at least four other works of fiction in which the Friends are made the principal figures. It suggests either that there must beau increase of outside interest in Friends, or that literary workers have decided that this field is worth more of their attention. The four volumes whose titles we quote above are all studies of real life, and all have some features of particular interest. "The Haydocks' Testimony," however, has a special purpose in view,it is designed to enforce moral conclusions,while the others are simply examples of the literary art, in which Friends and their characteristics are made prominent. The authorship of "The Haydocks' Testimony " is given as " by L. C. W.," these initials standing, we believe, for Lydia C. Wood, of Germantown, this city. She has given the book the form of a story, but practically it is a study of the situation of two Friends' families in the South, amid the trials and difficulties arising out of the institution of Slavery and the War of 1861-63. The scene is laid in North Carolina, near the Virginia Hue, on the borders of the Dismal Swamp. Here the families of Jeremiah Allen and David Haydock had settled " in the spring of 17," and here we find them at the time when Friends wero earnestly endeavoring to clear their skirts of the iniquity of slavery. The experience of the little community in that day,which historically, and from the date just given, must have been about the beginning of the present century,in securing the emancipation of the slaves held by Friends, forms the first part of the book: the second relates to the trials of the Haydocks, especially James, in maintaining the peace principles of Friends it the time of the great war, he being forced into the Southern army, and placed in the front of a battle, notwithstanding his refusal to fight. The two "testimonies" of the Haydocks, it will be seen, are those against Slavery and War, and the narrative of their trials and faithfulness is both animated and edifying. The author's " local color" is good ; she writes, no doubt, from personal knowledge of the localities and people whom she describes. We must be permitted to question whether she has enhanced the value of her book by the discussions of doctrines and the Scriptural authority for them which are introduced prominently at several places. And we suggest that when she makes James Haydock cite the unrevised version of the Epistle to the Hebrews, in the argument with Colonel Preston, to prove that "without the shedding of blood there is no remission" of sins, she was both ignoring the corrections of the text made by the revisers, and putting James at the mercy of his adversary. For it has been a favorite view with many people that " the sin of Slavery had to be washed out by blood,"that therefore the war was divinely ordered. If this were so, then the military men who demanded that the Friends should fight had the right on their side. We believe, and we presume James Haydock must have believed, no such thing as that the suffering of the Civil War was demanded by the Divine order, as a " blood sacrifice." That misery and death should have fallen upon hundreds of thousands of people totally innocent of responsibility for slavery is contrary

to a conception of Divine justice, to say nothing of Divine mercy. No doubt Slavery, like every other evil of human society, could have been and ought to have been removed by simply yielding to the monitions of duty, and " ceasing to do evil." John Woolman was the true Apostle of the right of the case, and when to his gentle but earnest voice of persuasion the sword and cannon succeeded, it was evidence not of the divinity of bloodshed, but of the uncompleted work of Christian conversion. We may add that there are occasional slips in the proofreading of "The Haydocks' Testimony." At one place (p. 195) the Declaration of Independence is referred to as made in 1789. "The Quaker Home" is a narrative of life in New Bedford, a generation or more ago. The author has evidently drawn on his own experience, and a good part of what he describes is probably autobiographical. The story is told in the first person, as the experiences of Hiram Wellworthy, the son of grave and solid Friends of New Bedford, engaged in the whaling trade, and many other characters are introduced. It is obvious that the writer (George Fox Tucker), while professing an interest in and a regard for the fold in which he was brought up, has strayed quite widely from it, aud his tone, as presented in that of his hero, Hiram Wellworthy, grates upon the nerves of the Friendly reader. At many points he is patronizing, at others he signifies his superiority of insight, at still others he dismisses with inferential if not direct disapproval usages which Friends regard as important if not essential, so that it is only for the sake of his pictures and descriptions one can have patience to follow him through his rather tedious story. Were it not for the certainty that he writes of New Bedford from intimate knowledge, and that his chief incidents and characters are drawn from life, one would have to lay down his extended book without going to the end. Yet there are passages in it which are quite interesting, and some of the characters are well drawn. It gives a more sombre picture of the social life of New Eugland.or, at least, New Bedford,Friends, than we had supposed was a correct one. "Gilbert Elgar's Son " is, upon the whole, the best work of fiction introducing Friends and their views and manners, with which we have lately made acquaintance, excepting, perhaps, "Friend Olivia." The author, Harriet Riddle Davis, of Washington, is the daughter of Albert G. Biddle, a prominent lawyer of that city, formerly of Ohio, himself the author of numerous boohs, and the fact that she has been a frequent visitor in the community of Friends at Sandy Spring in Maryland, explains the source of her knowledge of many details woven into the book. Her story.which is not too long, and is constructed with good artistic judgment, has for its chief figure "Robin " Elgar, the capable and earnest daughter of Gilbert and Dorothea, of "Airlie." It is she who is the "Son," for when her father dies, leaving his farm encumbered, and his affairs embarrassed, she takes a son's part, and does a man's work. There are numerous other well-drawn figures, and many pleasing bits of description, among them the passages with which the story opens, relating to the old meeting-house, "weather-beaten and stained,"

which stands " on the edge of a historic wood, known in old Maryland days as Charlie Forest." Altogether, the book has much merit, chief of which must be placed the author's sympathetic comprehension of her theme. She nowhere sneers at the Friends, or their ways,there are none of those carping and patronizing tones which so sets the teeth on edge in "A Quaker Home," and the difference between a writer who, if not herself a Friend, comprehends and appreciates Friends, and one who, having formerly been a member, seems to feel called on to justify himself for going elsewhere, is here very notably marked. The last of the four volumes, "Down the O-hi-o," is a Jtory of life among the Friends' communities of southeastern Ohio, and "Mount Carmel" is obviously Mount Pleasant, and "Colerain county" may be identified, no doubt, as the county of Belmont, opposite Wheeling. The author is Charles Humphrey Roberts of Chicago, whose birthplace was in the locality described in the book and whose familiarity with the law and its usages is readily explained as the fruit of his own legal experience. His story is in one respect the strongest,as a story,of the four under review, for it has some excellent dashes of humor in it, relieving admirably the strain of the drama which he describes. The chief figure is again a young woman, Karen, or "Kit" Allingham, who appears as a waif in Pittsburg, at the opening of the tale, and who in the end has joined meeting and married, Barclay Taylor, "according to the good order" of our Society. Her life in the meantime gives the opportunity to introduce a number of striking characters,Jazar Frost and his wife Ruth, Jonathan Bedstone and his wife Hannah, Nathan and Eleanor Frame, and others. One of the very best is Billee Kithcart, the storekeeper, the description of whom is admirable. The plot of the story is somewhat elaborate, and one chapter, where Karen sets off in an elopement with Cottle, the worthless lawyer who is trying to rob her, is quite out of harmony with the circumstances of the case, and decidedly an artistic fault of construction. That the author is not unfaithful to the Friends is shown by the conclusion of the story, where he brings Karen into the fold, instead of having her carry Barclay out of it. This is just the reverse of the process which the author of the New Bedford story presents us with.

Talk about New Books. Catholic World, (New York: The Office of the Catholic World [Paulist Fathers]), vol 53, 1891, 291. . . . A novel by an author whose name is new to us, Harriet Riddle Davis, Gilbert Elgar's Son (New York: G. P. Putnam's Sons), is one of those signs of the times which cannot multiply too rapidly to please people who believe that a complete appreciation by women of their own powers, duties, and responsibilities is the lever most essential to bring up the

social level. It is a tale of contemporary life among the Quakers of Maryland, descendants of the adherents of George Fox who found a shelter under Lord Baltimore's wing when denied one elsewhere on American shores. Their homely, thrifty, peaceful ways, broadening now to admit of dancing and fox-hunting and gear more fashionable than that of olden times for the younger Friends, are very pleasantly described. The men of the story, Gilbert and Dick Elgar and Jared Comly, are well done, especially the latter. But the feature of the book is Robin, Gilbert Elgar's daughter-son" all the daughters of her father's house, and all the brothers too." There is something very taking in the presentation the author makes of her, from the time of her escape from "First-Day Meeting," as a child of ten, until the day whena self-poised, self-reliant woman, who has realized the aspirations of her childhood and been son and daughter also to her parents, studying and working as a man should, yet keeping her womanhood intact and loftyshe gives herself to a man who is worthy of her. This novel is one for which we are glad to express hearty admiration. It embodies almost all that we could desire as the ideal of a high-minded, broadly-educated, well principled American woman. It voices in a dignified, self-contained manner, which we cannot praise beyond its deserts, the growing tendency of good women to demand equality with men before the law. They have long more than earned it by the patience with which they have, as a rule, borne an undue share of the burdens imposed by a high sense of duty. We commend Robin Elgar's career to the attention of our young women as a model worthy of careful study.

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