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49 pastiche from the new edition. He also modifies one early statement concerning the plot for another Holmes story. In the 1943 edition (p. 93) he states, "Among his [Doyle's] papers 1 discovered a scenario for an uncompleted tale which gives us a rough idea of the early stages of his work before he filled it out and pulled it together[.]" In the 1961 version (p. 131> he says, "Among his papers I discovered a scenario for an uncompleted tale which gives us a rough idea of the early stages of his work before he filled it out and pulled it together, though it is quite likely that he had bought the plot from someone else." Except for these changes the Walker edition is in no way brought up to date. Pearson's work is a popular biography with few footnotes and no bibliography. His main contention is that the simplicity of Conan Doyle enabled him to write exactly what the public wanted to read. He sees Doyle as a sort of Late Victorian Everyman (Doyle himself once wrote "I am the man in the street," which Pearson uses as title-page-motto and as a chapter title) who could spin wonderful tales of adventure, mystery, and action, but who too often ruined his serious writing with masses of dull, historical data. By repeatedly stressing Doyle's naivete, simplicity, and faults as a writer, Pearson, though undoubtedly correct, often gives an uncomplimentary tone to his portrait of Doyle. For the Doyle addict Pearson's biography is worth owning; however it should be supplemented by John Dickson Carr's THE LIFE OF SIR ARTHUR CONAN DOYLE (1948). Purdue University — E. S. Lauterbach 5. GEORGE GISSING'S COMMONPLACE BOOK. Ed Jacob Korg. NY: Mew York Public Library, 1962. $2.50. This pamphlet of some 70 pages consists of an abundant selection from a holograph notebook, the original of which is kept in the Berg Collection of the New York Public Library and which, with the exception of a few minor alterations, was published in the BULLETIN of the Library in three installments (Sept, Oct, and Dec, 1961). Despite the scarcity of dated entries, it has been possible to infer from internal evidence that it covers the period extending from the first Jubilee (I887) to Gissing's death, after which some remarks were added by Gissing's third wife, Gabriel Ie Fleury. The editing of such a notebook of disconnected and generally short entries involved a difficult choice: was it better to sacrifice the chronological order of the manuscript for the sake of a more logical classification under clear-cut subject headings or to preserve Gissing's sequence of notations and supplement the verbatim transcript with a carefully compiled index? Mr. Korg has taken a via media—while adopting the former course, he has given the page of each entry in the Berg commonplace book and added a table of dates to which each remark can be approximated. Thus the pamphlet gains in readability what it loses in conformity with the author's own notebook. The only serious defect of Mr. Korg's work is the dearth of footnotes which might have made this document more suggestive and less impersonal. For instance, when Gissing mentions Gower Place, Viornington Road or 7 K, the reader, unless he be thoroughly acquainted with the addresses of the novelist's many successive lodgings, is little likely to know when he lived in these places—which is all the more to be regretted as the subject is starving and had recourse to cheap substitutes for dinner. A few notes also have helped to cast doubt on Austin Harrison's ill-founded theory 50 against Gissing's poverty in the l880's. Again, who, apart from a handful of scholars, will know that Dr. Festal was Gissing's medical attendant at Arcachon? Doubtless more light could have been thrown on the biographical entries. True, this is to a large extent atoned for by the thoroughness and density of the introduction which very aptly shows the first-rate interest of this publication. Coming after the Gissing-VielIs correspondence and the letters to Eduard Bertz, it has a considerable advantage...

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Additional Information

ISSN
1559-2715
Print ISSN
0013-8339
Pages
pp. 49-50
Launched on MUSE
2010-05-21
Open Access
No
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