Not the least interesting phenomenon of the last four years has been the growing influence of Rilke upon English poetry: indeed, Rilke is probably more read and more highly esteemed by English and Americans than by Germans, just as Byron and Poe had a greater influence upon their German and French contemporaries than upon their compatriots.
Vidocq: The Personal Memoirs of the First Great Detective, edited and translated by Edwin Gile Rich. Boston: Houghton Mifflin Company. 445 pages. $3. This condensed version of the famous detective’s memoirs starts off very well as an amusing picaresque story. Soon, however, it becomes the somber and rather dreary tale of Vidocq’s escapes while he was one of the hunted, and of his captures when he turned hunter himself. Apparently Vidocq cared more for the truthfulness of his story than for any possible adornments.
There Is No Truce: A Life of Thomas Mott Osborne, by Rudolph W. Chamberlain. New York: The Macmillan Company. 420 pages. $3.50. Osborne seemed to have been born under fortunate stars. To the inheritance of family, culture and wealth he added personal attractions and accomplishments and power over men. And yet the stars turned malign. “Few men,” says his biographer, “have ever been so unerring in their choice of the losing side.” Mr. Chamberlain brings out the secret of his constant defeat. He was Don Quixote with a streak of the playboy.