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Fraser's Scottish Annual
Book Reviews


More than twenty years ago the first edition of this book evoked considerable appreciation from clansmen and clan students eager for information on so interesting a subject as "The Mackintoshes and Clan Chattan," especially the latter part, the Clan Catan, supposed to embrace so many clans and septs in its confederacy. That work, however, is almost entirely superseded by the second edition, which came from the press lately and at once challenges the attention of the Highland student. In preparing the second edition Mr. Mackintosh, a clansman to the core, and a remarkably able writer, has had many advantages not formerly available. Since then the publication of various national records has taken place, and the rich repositories of family papers, etc., preserved in the charter chest at Moy, the seat of The Mackintosh, have been arranged by an expert, and the author has had the privilege and the leisure to examine them thoroughly. Consequently the reader will find in the volume under re- view much fresh and revised material.
The plan of the book is as in the first edition. The main body of the clan occupies most of the space, as is requisite, then the principal branches of Clan Mackintosh are briefly sketched and then follows a clear, if necessarily brief, account of the tribes and families of Clan Catan, other than the Mackintoshes, of Inverness-shire, of whom sixteen kind reds are given. A useful paragraph on Scottish Heraldry, plates of the Arms of Clan Chattan and the Index close the book.
The origin of Clan Mackintosh and of Clan Catan has always been a theme of controversy; so is the question of who is the real chief of Clan Catan, 1. e. the representative in the male line of the ancient chiefs. These two question are the most difficult to be solved in the main history of the Clan Mackintosh and if they could be satisfactorily disposed of much hard feeling would be removed. The origin of' Clan Mackintosh is traced to two sources; by two genealogies to Gillecatan, chief of Clan Catan, by others, notably the Kinrara M.S., to Shaw, second son of Duncan, 3rd Earl of Fife. The second, while not accepted as proved, is followed by Mr. Mackintosh in this history. According to Kinrara, Shaw was appointed constable of the Castle of Inverness and received the lease of lands in the neighborhood to the east, in Petty, etc. This is not Skene's view, but MacBain, a master in Highland history, does not agree with Skene's Gillecatan origin, and goes so far in the direction of the Kinrara tradition as to admit the probability of the Mackintoshes having a connection with the Mormaors of Moray, and that Morayland, not Lochaber, may have been their habitat. A perusal of Mr. Mackintosh's book leaves the impression that the home lands of the clan were as they are in the eastern part of Inverness-shire. As to the chiefship, Mr. Mackintosh does not throw new light on the question. It is admittedly a difficult one. The best Mr. Mackintosh can do is summed up by him as follows:- "I have, perhaps, succeeded in showing, at least, that —supposing the story of the marriage with Eva to be true in the main - neither Macpherson of Cluny, nor any one else is in a position to furnish a better title than that of Mackintosh to the chiefship of Clan Chattan." A very negative conclusion indeed, and yet the only one possible to present research.
There is no dispute about The Mackintosh being chief of Clan Mackintosh, nor, now, of Cluny Macpherson being the chief of Clan Macpherson. Both are taken to be the lineal descendants male, from the founder of each of these clans. The disputed point is, as to which of these chiefs is the chief of Clan Catan. The question here surely is: Is either of these clans the Clan Catan under a modern name. The Macphersons' claim to be the descendants of the old Clan Catan and the claim is championed by Skerie in these words: "They (the Macphersons) possess that right by blood to the chief- ship (of Clan Catan) of which no charters from the crown and no usurpation, however successful and continued, can deprive them." Such a positive statement ought to be based on proof, which, however, Skene does not adduce. Yet the weakness of his case is no disproof of Macpherson's claims. There is an element of probability in their contention which has not been explained away. There are also some stubborn facts unaccounted for. There are the Macphersons themselves, there is Clan Kynech Macpherson, there is the Gaeliceponym "Muireach," and the "Parson." On the other hand the connection between the Mackintoshes and Clan Catan is held by the former to have been through the marriage of Angus Mackintosh, the sixth chief, with Eva, the daughter and heiress of Dugal Ball, last chief of Clan Catan, whose place and property were inherited by his son-in-law. Here we shall be assisted by a quotation from Mr. Mackintosh's book:
The body known as Clan Chattan in the fourteenth and succeeding centuries was not of the same composition as that which had previously borne the name, and which may fairly be described and treated as pre-historic. It was a confederacy consisting (1) of decsendants of the original clan, (2) of Mackintoshes and their offshoots, and (3) of other tribes and families not connected by ties of blood with either the original clan or the Mackintoshes—the Macgillivrays and Macqueens, for example - who united themselves under Mackintosh for purposes of mutual defence and protection. These various tribes and families, while individually retaining their own tribal names, became known collectively as the Clan Chattan, and when Clan Chattan is mentioned in history or record from the 14th century downwards, it is this confederated body, under the Chiefs of Mackintosh, which is indicated."
In a footnote to this paragraph Mr. Mackintosh hits upon the explanation of Mackintosh's claim to the chiefship of Clan Catan. He says:
"It may be, as some think, that this diversity of race among the component tribes was the reason for the designation of "Captain" frequently applied to Mackintosh as their leader and head, but the title was used in other cases where there was no such diversity, and "Captain" and chief have precisely the same origin and meaning."
To the latter part of this sentence it must be objected: (1) It has to be shown that there was no diversity of race in any case where "Captain" is used, e. g. Clanranald and Cameron. (2) Captain and chief having the same origin and being used synonymously in some cases does not prove that they always had the same application. Nor should the more ancient use of these words when nearer their primary meaning be insisted on in the fourteenth and succeeding centuries when changed circumstances and the tear and wear of usage invested them with a more definite meaning. The probability is strong that Angus Mackintosh having married the heiress of Clan Catan and thereby increasing his possessions had become the most powerful local man in the lands between the Spey and the Ness. He was buttressed by being feudally established in fertile strath lands, and by the prestige of his grandfather, the Lord of the Isles. He could afford the leadership and protection to the weaker neighboring clans which Macpherson, the male representative of Dugal 1)all, Chief of Clan Catan could not furnish. Therefore, he became " Captain " of all these clans, who became known as the Clan Catan Confederacy. It must not be forgotten that the Clan Catan and the Clan Catan Confederacy were two different organizations and that to be "Captain" of the latter did not mean "Chief" of the former, but the contrary. Mr. Mackintosh, our author, makes it clear beyond peradventure that The Mackintosh never was Chief of Clan Chattan, for he shows that from the fourteenth century down when Clan Chattan is mentioned it means the Clan Chattan Confederacy, of which The Mackintosh was "Captain" while he continued to be "Chief" of Clan Mackintosh, one Of the members of the confederacy, formed not on grounds of kindred or blood, but for "mutual defence and protection." An examination of the relation between the Mackintosh Chiefs and the members of the confederacy precludes the belief that the name "Chief" and "Captain" meant the same thing in this case. For instance, as Mr. Mackintosh shows, the Macgillivrays, Macqueens, etc., who joined the confederacy did not give up their identity as clans; they had their own chiefs, preserved their lands, and served under the leadership of Mackintosh for purposes of defence. Mackintosh could not be chief at the same time, of two or more separate and distinct clans. He was chief of his own clan and captain of the others when they co-operated—a feasible and familiar enough principle upon which to act. Mr. Mackintosh has done service to clan research in bringing out so clearly the meaning of "captain" in so far at least as it applies to The Mackintosh.
In the first document produced (1442), Mackintosh gives his style and designation as "Malcolm Makinthoschey, Captane of Clan-chatane." Mr. Mackintosh shows due appreciation of the vagaries of tradition, and rightly leans on documents for support. Yet he has given in his own book sufficient evidence to show that one cannot always rely on documents, even when official and intentionally honest, for ignorance sometimes obtained among honest officials, as much as did imagination among poets and seanachies. He may occasionally regard as of too great importance, the designation of his chiefs in charters and other documents in which the style is for purposes of personal identification only and not otherwise material. In such cases the parties to the instrument had surely the right to designate themselves in any style they considered best without effective challenge.
Up to the time of Angus Mackintosh, the sixth chief, who married Eva Cattanach, only sixteen men of the name Mackintosh ca" be produced as having existed during six generations, some of whom are shown to have died without issue. Therefore at the time of Angus there was no Clan Mackintosh. Angus was the head of his house but not the chief of a clan when he became captain of the Confederacy. That is, most prob. ably, the reason why the confederacy was not called the Mackintosh Confederacy when it was first formed.
Gradually the clan grew in the same way as did other Highland clans, and on account of the position of its chiefs in the confederacy, occupied a commanding position in the Highlands. Its history is full of action, movement, vicissitude and glorious achievement. Its onward march finds a leal and careful historian in Mr. Mackintosh, and one who, generally speaking, can be accepted without hesitation as to the facts of his narrative. The undertaking was an onerous one; it evidently has been a labor of love,, and clansmen and others ought, at least, to acknowledge its successful consummation by carefully perusing its attractive pages.
HOW HARTMAN WON. A Story of Old Ontario. By Erie Bohn. Toronto: George N. Morang & Company, Limited.
There is no abatement of interest in this well-written story from beginning to end. The aim is to clothe the incidents which go to make up the life of a stirring pioneer community, with an easy- fitting garb of fiction, and the author has well accomplished his task. There is skillful analysis of character also, and incident and accident to whet the mind. The scope is narrow, but the story suffers nothing from that fact; indeed it may be said to gain; as the personae become familiar and near, the interest in their affairs deepens. Of course true love triumphs, and vice and scheming has to. hide its diminished head. The moral is wholesome.
ROBERT URQUHART: By Gabriel Setoun. Toronto: Fleming H. Revell Company. $1.00.
Interest in this admirable story deservedly contines. It is well that a wholesome book of this class should be widely read, at a time when the average fiction of the day lacks the strength of genius and didactic motive. "Robert Urquhart " is a Scottish story, not on the lines of the intense "Kailyairders," but more on the plan of George Macdonald and the greater writers of the latter part of the 19th century. There is solidity in the work, conscientious literary finish, and a natural yet lively development. The characters are drawn with delicacy and skill, and the incidents and scenes strongly described. The reflections are sane and the impression left on the mind very pleasing.

RICHARDSON'S WAR OF 1812. With Notes and a Life of the Author, by Alexander Clark Casselman. Toronto: The Historical Publishing Co.
This is one of those books which make a double call upon our patriotism. In the first place the subject- matter of the work is of all-absorbing interest to every true Canadian inspired with a love for this fair land; and secondly the volume is interesting because of the personality of the author and the unique place he occupies as the first novelist of Canada, a man, withal, of which his country may well be proud. His "War of 1812" appeared in 1842 and in this edition no change has been made in the text except to correct obvious typographical errors. The official despatches of the British and American officers, however, have been given in full in order to ensure accuracy and completeness. The volume has been enlarged by a valuable biography of Major John Richardson, the author, by numerous illustrations of persons, plans and places, and by notes on the text which throw new light on the narrative. Letters of Colonel John Askin, Major Richardson and Colonel Elijah Brush are here brought to light, which will be found interesting and instructive. Mr. Casselman has produced an important book which will rank among the standard works on Canadian history, and he has, accordingly, placed students of the past of our country under no small obligation. Such work as this ought to be cordially recognized. There is no money in it. The devoted band of compatriots who exploit the field of Canadian history, find it interesting, nay fascinating, and therein lies their reward. They are content therewith: otherwise their time and talents would have been engaged in work which would bring sure and ample returns, and our own field would be left fallow. Every genuine effort deserves encouragement, and the cordial goodwill of every public-spirited man and woman. But this is not written by way of suggested apology for the quality of the work accomplished. Far from it. It is a case of a good cause well served; and there are men and women in Canada of first- class ability who are chivalric devotees of their country's history, not because they could not rise high in other departments of literary effort, but because they love their country first. All due credit to them! Let them cultivate and manifest a proper esprit du corps- and their inestimable services will sooner or later command the approval of the great mass of their fellow-citizens.
Mr. Casselman's hook is not the only one of its kind which might have evoked these thoughts. But it is the one under brief notice and to which the attention of the reader is especialy directed.
Major Richardson's father served as a surgeon in the Queen's Rangers, a British regiment recruited in Great Britain and Canada and placed at Simcoe's command in Upper Canada. His name was Dr. Robert Richardson, said to have been a scion of an Annandale family of the name, which had suffered on account of its Jacobite adherence in 175. He married Madeline,, a daughter of Col. John Askin (Erskine, Detroit. Their son, John, our historian and novelist, was born at Queenston in 1796. On the disbanding of the Queen's Rangers in 1802, the family moved to Amherstburg and at that historic spot all the children were reared and educated. The home life was wholesome in formative influences, the military and pioneer associations strong, and there was variety in the French and Indian customs and habits of life. Mr. Casselman thus describes one powerful source of his inspiration: " Who can tell that this devoted British officer, (Mr. Richardson's grandfather, Col. Askin), would impress on his youthful grandson, that to live under that flag which he had served so long was worth the sacrifice of a home and a vast estate. Here it was that Mrs. Askin used to tell the boy those thrilling stories of romance, of Detroit, of Michilimackinac, that enchanted his young imagination. None made so deep an impression as the crafty and well-conceived plans of Pontiac, the great chief of the Ottawas, and his persistent efforts to capture Fort Detroit. Her youthful listener, even at that early age, was enkindled with a desire, not to be realized till he had passed through thirty years of vicissitudes in two continents; when in 1832 he gave to the world his masterly Wacousta."
At the age of fifteen Richardson became a soldier in the 1812 war, and shared in all the engagements in which his regiment took part, until he was made a prisoner of war at Moraviantown. On his release he joined the 2nd battalion of the 8th (King's) regiment and embarked to join the Duke of Wellington's army in Flanders. On the reduction of his battalion he served with the Second or Queen's regiment in the West Indies, from which place he was invalided home and subsequently transferred to the 92nd Highlanders on the half pay list. Then for about ten years he did literary work in London, appearing as a poet and novelist. "Tecumseth" (poem) appeared in 1828, and from that year his pen was never idle. He commanded a company in the British Auxiliary Legion in Spain, and won his majority. In 1838 he returned to Canada, having, in the meantime, married. For a year he was political correspondent in Canada for the London Times and supported Lord Durham's proposals, which resulted to him in the loss of his position, the Times being opposed to the proposed reforms. Settling first at Sandwich and then at Brockville, he engaged in literary work and journalistic ventures, and on his political friends attaining to power, he received the appointment of Superintendent of Police on the Welland Canal, but the force was disbanded in a short time and he resumed his literary labors, chiefly historical, once more. In the course of time he finds himself installed in New York, revising his books, republishing some of the old, and writing new ones. A sudden illness carried him off in 1852, at the age of fifty-five years and it is not known where his remains lie buried. Mr. Casselman thus sums up an estimate of his powers: "A born literary artist, Richardson has drawn with a firm and skilled hand, not only the children of his imagination, but the people of his own day. His works, whether we consider their subject matter, their literary merits, or their position in the growth of the novel, place their gifted author high on that roll we choose to designate as our list of Canadian authors."
Here we have a very interesting account of the founding of Niagara Falls Park on the Canadian side of the river, by the Chairman of the Park Commissioners. The credit of having first suggested the system of national parks belongs to Lord Dufferin, when Governor-General of Canada. It was only, however, in 1885, that the Ontario Legislature approached the question, but since then the bounds of the national park have been extended from Chippawa to Queenston, nearly twelve miles along the famous river. The money required for the acquisition and maintenance of this valuable and historical land was raised by debentures secured on the property and the revenues of the park, the latter derived from three sources : the electric railway between Queenston and Chippawa, the franchise for supplying meals and refreshments to visitors, etc., and the franchises to the Power Companies for the purpose of generating electricity for transmission; a remarkable fact being that the Province of Ontario has not been called upon for assistance to the extent of one dollar. Two sturdy Scots, Mr. James Wilson, C.E., Superintendent, and Mr. Roderick Cameron, Landscape Surveyor, have had the duty of laying out the park from its inception.
WORK. By Rev. Hugh Black, Edinburgh. Toronto: Flem- ing H. Revell Company. 75c. Cloth.
Like almost everything which comes from Dr. Black's cultured pen, the essays that make up this book are charming, as well as wise, productions. Dr. Black thinks clearly and- deeply, and has the inestimable gift of clothing his thoughts in a most befitting garb. The style is attractive and compares with the nervous pages of Dr. George Matheson, or Dr. Walter C. Smith. The touch is light and pleasing and one never tires of reading on. All these characteristics are present in "Work," the detailed contents of which show the scope of the book. The essays are on: Idleness and Work, The Habit of Work, The Moral Need of Work, The Duty of Work, The Fruits of Work, The Ideal of Work, The Gospel of Work, Rest and Work, The Consecration of Work. The keynote to the book may be gathered in part from one of the mottoes made use of from John Ruskin: ' There is a working class—strong and happyamong both rich and poor; there is an idle class—weak, wicked and miserable—among both rich and poor." Dr. Black discusses, not economic problems, but the more personal question of one's actual work, with its claims on and lessons for the individual. He appeals to reason and experience, enjoins to diligence, "Nothing thrives in the sluggard's garden." "Human life and the whole order of society are maintained by labor, and those who will not work have no real place in the social scheme." "Life without service is parasitic." The habit of work is essential to conspicuous success in every line of effort. Trust to no happy inspirations; the work and the morale of the worker are thereby injured. Trollope's maxim "It is dogged as does it" is applied here.
We are traitors to our opportunities and gifts unless we make them the servant of habit." "The yoke of work is not merely a moral preservative, but is also an occasion for growth in gracious life."

A country fellow at the pleugh,
His acres tilled, he's right eneugh
A country girl at her wheel,
Her dizzen's dune, she's unco weel;
But gentlemen, and ladies warst,
Wi' ev'n-doon want o' wark are curst.

HISTORY OF THE OUTER HEBRIDES: By W. C. MacKenzie. Paisley, Alexander Gardner; Toronto, William Briggs. $3.50.

The subject of this goodly volume has an interest quite its own. The Outer Hebrides! Like Iona or Marathon, who has cruised through their "sounds" or wandered over their fords and strands, or fished their sinuous lochs, butfeels the emigrant's plaint in the famous lines of Eglinton:

From the lone shieling on the misty island
Mountains divide us and a waste of seas,
But still our hearts are true, our hearts are Highland,
And we in dreams behold the Hebrides.

Blackie, Jolly and Carmichael drew inspiration from their charged atmosphere, though not to the manner born, as well as John Morrison, John MacCodrum, and Gille na Cistaig, natives of the Isles, whose muse was racy of the soil :-

Na mholas gach eun a thir fein,
Ciod am fath nach moladh mise,
Tir nan curaidh tir nan char,
An tir bhiachar, fhialaidh mheasail,
Or Mundo MacLeod's poetic desire:
A chiall nach misc bha 'n Eilean an Fhraoich,
Nam fiadh, nam bradan, nam feadag, 's nan naosg;
Nan lochan, nan oban, nan osan, 's nan caol-
Eilean innis nam bo, 's aite comhriuidh nan laoch.

But these, as well as Black's Ultima Thule are modern tributes; the Ebudae appeal to ancient times, and the rosy-fingered morn of history lingered long in a hazy dawn ere tradition, legend and document were illuminated by its rays. The Outer Isles furnish, therefore, a fascinating problem to the historian: a problem replete with human interest, and with elements requiring extensive knowledge and sound judgment. This is the reason why a fair treatment of Hebridean history will always command the interest of the general reader; and a good reason why Mr. MacKenzie has approached his task in a thoroughly catholic spirit. For this he is to be congratulated: there is breadth of view combined with appreciation of the native character and propensities, and as to his deductions it may be said that they can be more often than not maintained. The great disappointment with the book is that much space is bestowed on mainland and general Scottish history unnecessarily. A history of the Outer Hebrides ought to be a history of the Outer Hebrides, not of the Highlands and Islands. As a matter of course there are common interests between the Isles and other parts of the kingdom; the Lords of the Isles, the Mackenzies of Kintail, would of themselves, ensure that, without mentioning the MacLeods of Skye, Assynt and Harris, or the earlier Norsemen; but these have their limited place in an account of "Lewis, Harris, North and South Uist, Benbecula and Barra." And the pity of this fault is that so much material of real interest and historical importance, has necessarily, in consequence, been sacrificed to the limits of the publisher's space. Yet the merits of the work as a whole, would stifle every growl, could the author be induced to follow with another volume on North and South Uist, Benbecula and Barra, giving the body of the book to these islands and the head, legs and tail to .Jamaica or Japan, should he feel inclined to do so, in order to "avoid insularity of treatment." As it is, the reader is guided over ground of much interest. In the chapters dealing with the early inhabitants, caution is displayed and a candour betokening strength, and the following extract is made from the introduction, not only as furnishing a key to Mr. Mackenzie's point of view, but as indicating a desirable attitude in the study of early Scottish history:

Who and what were the earliest inhabitants of the Hebrides? It is hardly necessary to say that in the present state of our knowledge, a conclusive answer to this question cannot be given. Were we able to state definitely to what race the primitive inhabitants of the Highlands of Scotland belonged; what language they spoke; what their manners and customs were; we should probably have little difficulty in assigning a similar race, a similar language, and similar manners and customs to the prehistoric Hebrides. For satisfactory proofs, however, of Highland, as of Hebridean origins, we grope in the dark; history furnishes us with none. Those who have laboured with so much learning, assiduity, and in some cases, acrimoniousness, to prove the correctness of their theories, appear in most instances to have reversed the only sound process of reasoning. Instead of deriving their conclusions from evidence, direct or indirect, they seem to have formed their conclusions first, and selected their evidence afterwards. The result has been a partial statement of their case, involving a want of candour which fails to carry conviction. After all, an ounce of fact is worth a ton of theory."

The traditions of the Outer Hebrides Mr. Mackenzie finds to be largely composed of myths and, therefore, he turns to the antiquities of Lewis, such as the standing stones of Callernish from which he deduces that the aboriginal inhabitants of Lewis were almost certainly a pre-Celtic people, who, whether Finnic or Iberic, probably spoke a Turanian tongue. The brochs, which are a feature of the landscape and curious relics of a past age, are still a puzzle, alike to the antiquary and to the historian. Etymology yields more abundantly than antiquities in Mr. MacKenzie's hands, the Scandinavian place-names affording a scarcely needed confirmation of the Norse occupation of the islands, but a fair opportunity of discussing the era and incidence of that occupation. The derivation of "Hebrides" and of " Leis" is unsettled. "Stornoway" is Icelandic; "Harris," Scandinavian; "Uist," uncertain; Benbecula, a Celto- Scandinavian compound; "Barra," Icelandic.

The Norse occupation forms an interesting section and is as detailed as could well be desired; then comes the advent of the clans, and from that period down to the last century Highland history is interweaved with the local narrative proper. The MacLeods, the MacNicols, the Morrisons, the MacAulays, the Maclvers, the Macaskills, figure in Lewis. The Macruaries, the Macdonalds and the MacNeils in the southern portion of the Long Island, and there is no lack of movement or life in the chequered story of these warlike tribes. The Fife Adventurers, the gradual rise of the MacKenzie power in Lewis and the final decline of the same, the emigration fever, the social life, etc., are dealt with, followed by a discriminating chapter on the bibliography of the Hebrides and that by one on religion, education, trade and commerce, the tacksman system, the kelp industry, and the land question.

The geology, physical features, botany and vertebrates of the Outer Hebrides form the subject of a most interesting and valuable chapter by the Rev. William Morrison, M. A., Carrbridge, a native of Lewis, while the volume is finely illustrated by half-tone pictures of historic Hebridean places.

COLIN OF THE NINTH CONCESSION. A Story of Pioneer Life in Eastern Ontario. By R. L. Richardson. Toronto: George N. Morang & Co., Ltd. Cloth, $1.25.

This is a story, the reading of which will afford much pleasure. The plan is simple, conventional perhaps, and the incidents form no tangled skein, the unravelling of which will tax or perplex the mind, but the local color is marked, the characters are naturally drawn and the flow of events proceeds smoothly, with an occasional ripple to a happy ending. The romance is supplied by a disinherited English Earl and a widow's family on Ontario farm. The identity of the Earl as a boy is not known; he is reared by the widow, and finally marries her charming daughter. To the average reader of fiction, the book is worth the price.

AN TREORAICHE: A Gaelic Primer. Aeneas Mackay, Stirling. 3d.

This booklet comes from the pen of Malcolm MacFarlane, Elderslie, which fact, of itself, is a guarantee of its accuracy and adaptability. No better aid could be placed in the hand of a Gaelic teacher or parent wishing to dedicate spare moments to the Gaelic education of his children. From the alphabet to the construction of easy sentences there are one hundred and twelve simple exercises, illustrated by pictures and carefully graduated. The book is strongly commended to all who wish to preserve Gaelic in their families. After studying it there ought to be no difficulty in reading the New Testament.

AM FEAR CIUIL: Dain agus Orain &c., le Domhnull MacEacharn, Duneidean. Glasgow: Archibald Sinclair, Celtic Press.

As the title "The Minstrel" indicates, this book contains songs and poems by Mr. Donald MacEachern, Edinburgh, with a number of Gaelic prose sketches which won prizes at the Mods of the Highland Association. The book is a valuable contribution to modern Gaelic literature. The poems and songs disclose considerable literary skill the poet's mood is reflective, and he may be given a little too much to moralizing. He affects a love of nature in his prose and verse, which in view of the smirch of cynicism which tinctures his message, may be simulated. Yet he finds his heart in pieces like "The Empire of Britain," "Impireachd Bhreatuinn," and The South African War," "Cogadh an Africa-mudheas," in which the martial spirit strikes a genuine Celtic vein. The book contains smooth, singable translations of such favorites as "The Soldier's Dream," " O' a' the airts the wind can blaw," "Gae bring my guid auld harp ance mair," and "My love is like a red, red rose." The "sgeulachdan," or sketches are really entertaining compositions. The cat, the dog, thebeetle, the ant, are among his pet companions, and the poet-philosopher beguiles his readers with observations on their craft or hobbies. From these he rises to discuss Carmichael's Carmina Gadelica, and Omar Khayam, and does so with keen insight, sympathy and conspicuous ability. He chats at a ceilidh, soliloquizes with his dog "Yarrow," ventures a dialogue between Young Evan and Red Hector, and a holiday experience at the seaside. Quiet humor, a copious flowing style and choice expression are features of Mr. MacEachern's writing. The book is recommended to all lovers of the Gaelic language.

THE GHOST OF GAIRN: A. Tale of the Forty-Five. By Margaret Moyes Black. Edinburgh: Oliphant Anderson & Ferrier. 1/- nett.

The "Forty-Five" has given to fiction as well as to song much charming reading, among which "The Ghost of Gairn" may be accorded a no unimportant place. The story is one of love, romance and war, the events of the Prince Charlie episode, and the fortunes of two cousins, Lizzie Ogilvie and Randal Lyell, furnishing the warp and woof for the racy narrative. Forfarshire, so rich in local color, is the main scene and centre of the story, and the authoress avails herself with considerable skill of the advantages which family predilec- tions, in the affairs of church and state, local traditions and superstitions, and proximity to the mystic borderland of the Highlands present to the story writers. Consequently the little work is interesting and instructive, and affords a very pleasant hour's reading.

CRABBE: By Alfred Ainger. Toronto, George N. Morang & Co., Limited. 75c.

The interesting story of Crabbe's life is here told briefly and sympathetically with the view of sustaining popular interest in a man who did much for the people. The book is in the series of English Men of Letters, edited by John Morley, and may be taken bearing the stamp of that most competent of judges in the Supreme Court of Literature. Nothing startingly new is claimed for this book, but the data have been carefully revised, and, no doubt, the biographical portions are fully authenticated. It may not be the vogue to read Crabbe much now-a-days, but he remains among English classics and no student can afford to pass him by.

THE LAND OF THE HEATHER: By Clifford Johnson. Toronto, George N. Morang & Company, Limited. $2.00.

You do not look for much solid work in the racy descriptions of people, places and things given by globe-trotters, and transient tourists afflicted with cacethes scrihendi and a lack of thought. Scotland, probably, has not suffered more in this respect than other countries, but she has suffered much - especially the Highlands. Mr. Clifford Johnson is a traveller. Among the countries and places which he has explored for literary material are the New England States, Old England, France, Ireland, Scotland, and he has looked at Spain. This enumeration of itself places him as a writer. He travels, and what is suggested to his mind by what he glances at, he describes. It is a guess, but the guess may be right —sometimes it is. Yet in this book on the "Land of the Heather" he is better than most of his class, for he evidently carries a camera, and a pretty accurate guide book. The camera gives a pretty photograph and the guide book is fairly exact in dates and occasionally in etymologies. Of the seventy-nine pictures it must be said that they are generally of well selected subjects, illustrative of the scenes and characters dealt with in the text. Indeed, to many, these pictures are the valuable part of the book.

THE BLACK CHANTER, and other Highland Stories: By Nimmo Christie. Toronto, George N. Morang & Company, Limited, $1.50, cloth.

These stories refer to a period of Highland history when the clans followed their chiefs and waged war upon each other for gain or for indulging in revenge. There is strong writing and good descriptive power in delineating the wild natural beauties of hill and dale and in picturing the wild clansmen on the page. The chapters run in sequence on such as the following subjects: The Black Chanter, The Chieftain's Duties, The King's Touch, The Dirk of Evan, The Raven's Craig, The Man of the Paths, The Chief's Portrait, Fairy Ferlie, The Wise Woman, The Bard.

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