H́nh ảnh trang
PDF
ePub

29. A peerage was conferred on Mr. Ronald McNeill, the new Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster [Lord Cushendun, of Cushendun, in the County of Antrim].

NOVEMBER.

6. Great floods in the New England States did damage to property, destroyed thousands of homes, swept away bridges, and were responsible for many deaths.

10. The Nobel Prize for Literature for 1926 was awarded to the Italian authoress, Grazia Deledda; and the Nobel Prize for Physics for 1927 was divided between Professor Arthur Compton of Chicago and Professor C. T. R. Wilson of Cambridge.

12. At midnight the first automatic telephone service in London was commenced at the Holborn Exchange.

17. The Times announced that Mr. Bernhard Baron had given 50,0001. for the rebuilding of the St. George's Jewish Settlement in the East End of London.

19. At the Southend by-election Lady Iveagh retained the seat for the Conservatives.

21. The Times announced that the Royal Halifax Infirmary had received a gift of 10,000l. from Mr. Ernest Shaw Redman of Halifax.

22. Professor William R. Halliday, Professor of English History in the University of Liverpool, was appointed Principal of King's College, London, in room of Professor Ernest Barker.

25. At the Canterbury by-election Sir W. A. Wayland retained the seat for the Conservatives, but by a greatly reduced majority.

29. Lord Rothermere made a further gift of 40,000l. to the Middle Temple to be added to the memorial fund founded by him some years ago in memory of his father, who was a member of that Inn.

DECEMBER.

1. Rev. Dr. D. H. S. Cranage appointed Dean of Norwich.

--

Three 1001. 5 per cent. War Loan Bonds with interest coupons attached were sent to the Chancellor of the Exchequer by an anonymous donor for cancellation, as a gift to the nation.

5. Mr. Henry Poole, A.R.A., sculptor, was elected a Royal Academician.

10. It was announced that the Nobel Peace Prize was divided equally between the French Professor Ferdinand Buisson and the German Professor Ludwig Quidde.

15. The sixteenth-century Hereford mansion known as Stoke Edith Park was burnt down.

19. Intense cold weather with widespread frost occurred over the whole of the country.

21. The cold weather became more intense; the frozen rain on the roads was responsible for thousands of accidents, and the train services were badly affected.

22. The Right Rev. J. H. G. Randolph, formerly Bishop Suffragan of Guildford, was appointed Dean of Salisbury.

It was announced that Lord Burnham had sold the Daily Telegraph to Sir William Berry, Mr. Gomer Berry, and Sir Edward Iliffe, and that the new proprietors would assume control on January 9, 1928.

25. The most severe snowstorm for many years swept over the country, continuing right through the night.

26. Further falls of snow blocked many roads and railways throughout the country, isolated several towns, and interrupted the Dover-Calais services.

27. The greater part of Standon Lordship, built some time in the middle of the sixteenth century, was destroyed by fire.

28. Floods in the Canterbury and Maidstone areas caused widespread damage.

29. Another frosty day with a biting wind; the delay in communication owing to the snow continued.

30. No abatement in the frosty weather; food for isolated villages was supplied by aeroplanes.

31. The total cost of the losses through fire in Great Britain and Ireland for the whole year was estimated at 6,495,000l.

[ocr errors]

The

1927 was described as the wettest of six consecutive wet year years which have occurred since 1921.

RETROSPECT

OF

LITERATURE, SCIENCE, AND ART IN 1927.

LITERATURE.

(Books marked with an asterisk are specially noticed at the end of this section.)

WHILE several young reputations became more firmly established in 1927, it cannot be recorded that any new literary planet of the first magnitude or near it swam into our view. On the other hand, there was a sufficiency of books which, on other than purely literary grounds, were greeted with clamour, if not always with acclaim. Controversy, of which the end is not yet, was provoked, and was no doubt intended to be provoked, by the two new volumes of * The World Crisis, in which the Chancellor of the Exchequer, himself the subject of a cordial appreciation from the pen of "Ephesian" (who last year paid a similar compliment to Lord Birkenhead), gave his version of the story of the critical years 1916 to 1918; while the publication of the letters and diaries of Sir Henry Wilson, by Major-General Sir C. E. Callwell, aroused a great deal of interest and no little resentment. Wilson was a fine and sagacious soldier, who earlier than most men saw and insisted on the necessity of a united command on the Western front, but he had a sharp tongue and sharp pen and he confided his opinions of his colleagues, in uniform or in "frocks," to the pages of his private diary in unameliorated terms. Whether he would himself have given these dark entries to the world in their original form can never be known, but it was widely felt that their unexpurgated publication was at least an indiscretion.

Meanwhile less questionable, if less exciting, service was performed in the cause of truth-that is to say, of truth about the war-by the official historians; and most notably by the inauguration, with its first two volumes, of what, when completed, will be an extremely valuable series, the British Documents on the Origins of the War, 1898-1914, which Dr. G. P. Gooch and Prof. Harold Temperley are extracting from the Foreign Office archives. Professor Temperley also collaborated with Professor A. J. Grant in a sane and impartial survey of * Europe in the Nineteenth Century.

Another book which attracted much attention was Colonel T. E. Lawrence's Revolt in the Desert. Here there was plenty of literary justification for excitement, for it was a brilliant piece of writing; but literary appreciation was so complicated by the enigma of the author's

personality and the circumstances of the book's publication that it would perhaps have been wiser to wait until a more detached judgment was possible than to have proclaimed headlong, as so many reviewers did, that here was a classic of the East to be set beside Doughty's Arabia Deserta. A useful supplement to Revolt in the Desert was Lawrence and the Arabs, in which Mr. Robert Graves, the poet, showed that his hero was a man and not a myth and explained much that was taken for granted in the book; while more light on the Middle East in war-time was thrown by the Letters of Gertrude Bell, which, edited by her step-mother, Lady Bell, form an admirable memorial to a vivid and gracious personality and a remarkable

career.

The Middle East, indeed, occupied a conspicuous place in the year's literary output. From Cambridge came a new and worthy edition, long due, of the late Edward Granville Browne's A Year Among the Persians— a year spent, amid the fumes of opium, in endless talk of poetry and philosophy. No such intimate study of Persian life and thought has ever been published, or is ever likely to be published, in this country; and Sir Edward Denison Ross, in his prefatory memoir of its author, justly claimed for it "a rightful place among the great classics of travel." In The Islamic World Since the Peace Settlement, issued by the Royal Institute of International Affairs, Professor Arnold Toynbee made a careful and on the whole optimistic study of recent political and social tendencies among the Mohammedans of North Africa and Western Asia, and an intimate knowledge of Morocco and its inhabitants and personal acquaintance with Marshal Lyautey, Abd-el-Krim and other protagonists made Mr. Walter B. Harris's France, Spain, and the Rif an authoritative exposition of a difficult chapter of modern history.

Authority was by no means allowed in all quarters to Miss Katharine Mayo's Mother India. Her indictment of Hindu social conditions, while obtaining a succès de scandale, was met with vigorous protests, and in a counterblast entitled Father India, Mr. C. S. Ranga Iyer accused Miss Mayo of superficiality and superiority, and claimed that many of the evils which she had found in his country were equally rife in hers. Another provocative book on India was The Garden of Adonis, in which Mr. Al. Carthill predicted, with relish, the downfall of the Empire.

Nearer home Russia naturally loomed large. A very notable book was The Mind and Face of Bolshevism by René Fülöp-Miller-translated by Mr. F. S. Flint and Dr. D. F. Tait-which gave an extraordinarily vivid impression of contemporary Russian society under all its aspects, with special emphasis on the cultural and artistic. Less sensational and picturesque, Mr. Lancelot Lawton's The Russian Revolution was valuable for the nice distinctions drawn in it between the various shades of Bolshevism as embodied in the leading men who made and have sustained the Revolution; and a good introduction to the subject came from the competent pen of Professor Harold J. Laski, whose little book on Communism was mainly devoted to an explanation of Marxian theory and its Bolshevik application.

That unique book, originally published two years ago, in which President

Masaryk described the birth of the Czechoslovakia of which he was himself the chief if not the only begetter, was translated by Mr. Wickham Steed as The Making of a State, and the new Germany found an able and unbiassed historian in Mr. H. G. Daniels, whose The Rise of the German Republic was soundly based on all the available documents.

Of practical use to those who wish to understand the problems of democratic government was The Mechanism of the Modern State, in which Sir John Marriott, performing a task for which he is eminently endowed, analysed the British Constitution in all its members, gave it its place in time by a preliminary historical survey and in space by comparative studies of the institutions of France, America, and Switzerland, and looked cautiously into its future. Professor A. C. Pigou made a thorough, scientific, and compact study of the problem of Industrial Fluctuations, and Dr. Ernest Baker considered National Character as affected by occupation, density of population, geographical position, and education. Sir Alfred Mond's volume of essays on Industry and Politics was a comprehensive survey of the present and probable future relationships of these two branches of activity by a man of acute intelligence and of large experience in both.

In the realm of history which lies beyond the reach of political controversy an event of importance was the appearance of the fifth and sixth volumes of the Cambridge Ancient History. Mr. Hilaire Belloc carried his History of England, in its second volume, from the Conquest to the Black Death, pugnaciously and dogmatically maintaining his thesis that the essential phenomena of national life are always religious. In The House of Lords in the Eighteenth Century Mr. A. S. Turberville gave an interesting account of the Golden Age of the "Venetian Oligarchy," when every Cabinet was adorned as a matter of course by at least one duke; and a lighter book but still one of serious value was the very attractive story of English Women in Life and Letters told by Miss M. Phillips and Miss W. S. Tomkinson and copiously illustrated from contemporary sources. To insist on the thoroughness and accuracy with which Mr. and Mrs. Sidney Webb are writing English Poor Law History would be an impertinence. The first of the two parts into which their book is divided comes down to the break-up of the old system which resulted in the law of 1834. In the second volume of his * Five Centuries of Religion, Mr. C. C. Coulton continued to unfold the story of medieval monastic life with an admirable combination of erudition and literary skill.

London still exercises its irresistible fascination both on the sentimental chronicler and the more serious antiquary. Mr. Gordon Home's Mediaeval London contained a great deal of information arranged in a manner which might have been bettered, and Mr. George H. Cunningham proved himself a worthy successor to Wheatley with a useful dictionary of the city's history, tradition, and topography. A more specialised work was Mr. E. Williams's excellent Early Holborn and the Legal Quarter of London.

*

The year was a notable one on the biographical side. Oxford put forth the new Dictionary of National Biography, containing the lives of such illustrious Englishmen as died between 1912 and 1921, and the first

« TrướcTiếp tục »