historical there occurs a distinct imaginative element.
One book, ‘Wood Cove Island,’ is a stirring story of a contest between two opposing factions, the good boys and girls on one side, and the bad boys on the other, to gain and keep possession of a small island, made worth fighting for by the presence of an old scow, altered into a feudal castle by rude carpentry and youthful imagination.
On this fictional background appear Professor Longfellow
, as a summer visitor, and his friend Charles Sumner
, both of whom advise the combatants, without interfering with them.
Any boy should like this book.
Again, read ‘Historic Girls,’ or ‘Historic Boys,’ if you would get a vivid series of true pictures of widely separated ages, with differing customs, but the same child-nature persisting through all. Or dip into ‘Storied Holidays’ to find some scene of childhood, grave or gay, set in the festivities of Christmas
, St. Valentine's Day, or Midsummer Eve.
Throughout the works of Mr. Brooks
there is earnest effort to make the historic parts correct as to fact, and also as to accessories of costume, architecture, and language.
There is danger, intrinsic in such undertaking, that the learning shall appear artificial and pedantic.
But the author recognizes this hazard, and, while not ‘writing down’ to his young readers, provides against it. It would be difficult to find a better blending of dry events and ever-living human nature than in some of his sketches.
It is their truth to history that makes the writings of Mr. Brooks
respected by older readers, who, as well as the young, are at the same time attracted and held by the play of a cheerful and unwaning fancy.
Another member of the Munroe household will introduce us to our women writers, the second main division of the subject.
Mrs. E. A. Bacon
came to Somerville
She married a Universalist minister,—Rev. Henry Bacon
,—who was the first editor of the Universalist and Ladies' Repository, in 1832.
On his death in 1856, his wife at once took up the editorial work that her husband laid down, and from July, 1856, until July, 1860, she ably conducted the magazine along religious lines.
On the publisher's desire to render the Repository