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From The New York Times: “Not as Yellow as it was”

Once more the egg-colored volume
called “The Yellow Book” appears, and
it is improved. If the cover embellish-
ment is Miss Ethel Reed’s, (which it prob-
ably is,) itis a nice one. As to the prints,
ther are some few good ones and many
shockingly poor ones. The work of the
Newburyport young lady has at least
the flavoring of innocence. In “Child-
hood,” though, in the drawing of it, there
is lack of proportionl; that is, when
compared with maturity, the size of the
head has not such exaggerations as Miss
Ethel Reed presents. A neck of a little
girl as Miss Reed outlines it never could
carry such a bulbous and overweighted
head. We should be afraid of water on
the brain. Mabel Dearmer‘s “The Mus-
lin Dress” is frankly absurd. It is a
dancing flea, covered with a starched ta-
blecloth, and terminating with capering
and attenuated legs.

Aline Szold’s three sketches are com-
monplace, but better than the two attrib-
uted to Charles Pears. One of these,
called “Ferry Bridge,” is an accident in
wash; the other, with the title “The Har-
vest Moon,” serves to bring in the dark
profile of a horribly ugly woman’s head
against the face of the moon. There is
some sense in E. A. Walton’s portrait of
Miss Evelyn Sharp, and it may be an
honest likeness, if the model be not come-
ly. “The Pathway to the Moon” is a
pictoral riddle not worth the guessing,
and a girl somewhat in profile, though
neatly worked up, is like a ship’s wooden
figurehead. Wonderment comes why such
inferior work is selected, for, save Miss
Reed’s, E. A. Walton’s, and Patten Wil-
son‘s sketches, everything else, if not ex-
ecrable, is commonplace; and still, be-
cause these prints are not in dubious
taste, as were those in the first issues
of “The Yellow Book,” there is a change
for the better.

Mr. Henry P. James has a long and
certainly tedious article on George Sand,

*THE YELLOW BOOK. A Illustrated Quar-
terly. Volume XII. John Lane. The Bodley
Head. New York: $1.50.

taking up for topic “Elle et Lui.” Mr.
James, writing from an English stand-
point, doubts whether any people other
than young ladies read “La Mare au
Diable” without a dictionary. We are
pretty certain that on this side of the
water young people do read it without a
dictionary, and “La Petite Fadette,” too,
and “François le Campi,” though “Te-
verino” is forgotten. From the fact that
George Sand, when she was living with
Prosper Merimée, got up one cold night
and built her fire so that she might write,
Mr. James constructs a curious theory,
the conclusion of which is tha she “never
could be drowned but in an ocean of ink.”

Mr. James sublimates a great deal in
limpid and consequently very thing Eng-
lish. Somebody had said of this litte-
rateur pure and simple that his writings
when compared with the house painter’s
materials, bear the same comparison as
does barytes to white lead. You may
cover a lot of wood with the whitest cry-
stalline barytes, but it has no depth.
There is no character in barytes as a
pigment. You may then read “She and
He: Recent Documents,” and find George
Sand with a glistening coat of vitreous
enamel neatly applied all over her.

Henry Harland‘s “Flower o’ the
Clove” begins ever so prettily, and,
though it ends distressingly, the romance
of it touches your sympathies. “The
Three Reflections,” by Stanley V. Ma-
kower, we frankly confess, we do not
understand. “Alexander the Ratcatch-
er,” has to do with a Pope when Rome
was infested with rates; “Far Above Ru-
bies,” by Netta Syrett, treats of the
temptations of a young doctor, and Rich-
ard le Gallienne‘s “Two Prose Fancies”
tells in sentimental style of those poor
devils in London who are known as “cab
openers” and who will eat orange peel.

Do some people in London with copy,
the manuscripts having been “returned
with thanks,” see their way to a check
in the publications under notice. But
stop! there is one delightful poem, a litlte
piece of true gold in “The Yellow Book,”
and it is Kenneth Grahame‘s “To Belle.”
And so we insist there is betterment in
“an illustrated quarterly,” for it is not
off color this time.

MLA citation:

“Not as Yellow as It Was.” Review of The Yellow Book, vol. 12, January 1897, New York Times, 13 March 1897, p. 398. Yellow Nineties 2.0. Edited by Lorraine Janzen Kooistra, Ryerson University Centre for Digital Humanities, 2019.