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About The courier. (Lincoln, Neb.) 1894-1903 | View Entire Issue (Sept. 22, 1894)
'VOL.. 9. No. 40.
LINCOLN, NEB., SATURDAY, SEPTEMBER 22, 1894.
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The appearance of ''Trilby" in book form has caused a great Jog
King of the literary firmament. Criticisms and reviews of Du Maur
ier's beautiful story fill the periodicals and daily newspapers, and if
Professor Sherman, of the University of Nebraska, and incidentally
literary critic for the Evening News, li-oks for anything like a gen
eral vindication of his own judgment of the book among these latest
expressionsof thebook reviewers and readers, ho will not find it. In
deed it is doubtful if he can find a single intelligent critic who will
sustain him in his peculiar position. Professor Sherman, it will be
remembered, was entirely untouched by the tine sentiment and
grace and simplicity in "Trilby." and could see nothing good in it.
He went so far as to jump on the book with both his dainty feet,
figuratively speaking, declaring that it is immoral, and unfit to be
read in respectable homes. Harper Magazine, the professor said,
did wrong in sending such a kicked story out into the world. The
author of "The Analytics of Literature" enjoys the distinction of
standing alone in what might be called an ultraprudish attitude to
ward a book that is bound to be read for many years by people who
will derive much pleasure from it without ever discovering that it is
Somebody in the Sunday Journal, not far removed from Professor
Sherman's influence we should say, has an intelligent and apprecia
tive note of comment on "Trilby." This writer says: "She has
come to us at last in book form Trilby the much talked of, Trilby
the well beloved. There has never beon a heroine made for years
that people have taken into their hearts and lives and love as they
have Trilby. Critics say 'Thackeray, Thackeray, Thackeray; but
Thackeray's heroines are not lovable, though his heroes are.
Thackeray never made a woman whom one could love. Of course
there have been noble women enough in fiction, indeed almost too
many 'noble women.' There is even Charles Dudley Warner's 'Edith
of the Golden Home, concerning whom we are all anxiously awaiting
future intelligence. O yes! there are plenty of admirable heroines,
perfect Minervas and Hermiones, but some way poor little Trilby
seemed to need love so and everybody gavo it to her. The merchant
in his country home, the broker at his desk, the painter at hia easel,
the actor in the flies, wo all of us loved her so dearly that she waB
j;n experience in our lives. The strange part of it was that it was
the good people who loved her the most. The people who were
really and greatly good like little Hillcc loved her just as ho did.
The world has been Just to Trilby; it has loved her and not beon
ashamed to say so. For six months the English speaking peoples
havo talked of littlo else. It may be unreasonable, but it is true
that this little studio girl, who posed for the 'altogether with her
pretty foot, her army coat and taint of liohemia, will go to her
place in literature and on our book shelves moro beloved than all
tho righteous and cultured Evandes and Bernardines and Marccllas
which these fretful times havo called forth."
Mrs. Elia W. Peattio, whoso delicate and incisive literary contribu
tions to tho World-Herald aro much admired, had an elaborato re
view of "Trilby" in last Sunday's edition of that paper. Mrs.
Peattie is charmed with "Trilby." and Bho gives us a delightful ar
ticle. She rep2ats the story of Whistler's appeirance in tho story
under a thin disguise as follows: "Yesterday the story was issueil
from the press in book form, and in a few days will be generally
upon the market, and can bo found at any book store. There has
been some delay about its publication, because Mr. "Whistler, who is
one of the characters disguised, of course, by anothor name con
sidered the disguise not thick en mgh. and threatened to sue Har
pers for libel if they did not have his features disguised. For, Hince
Du Maurier drew his own pictures and illustrated his tale very pro
fusely, it was only natural that ho should havo drawn bona tide
portraits of many of the artists who figured as characters. The pic
ture of 'Sibley," otherwise Mr. Whistlor, was too unmistakable, and
so Du Maurier was persuaded to put whiskers on Sibloy and all
goes well. AH of which is so funny and so characteristic of Mr.
Whistler that one is rather glad it happened."
Mrs. Peattio's impression of the book may be judged by tho fol
lowing sentences selected here and there from her review: "I have
been completely Trilbyized; George du Maurier did it Du Maurier
whoso humorous pictures had begun to pall on me and all of
us George du Maurier who insisted on serving us up one type of
woman for years and years Georgo du Maurier who suddenly, when
no one suspected of it, took to writing books, and who has given us
two of tho most lovable stories ever writton in tho English lan
guage." It sounds as if it might be a tragedy. But real
ly it isc't It's a beautiful romance one of tho most beautiful ever
written. Death what is that but u part of life? It is tho bad life
not tho good life that makes up a tragedy. Ah but
these ideals of true artist's brains are as actual as the women who
walk the street before your eyes! It may bo they can claim even a
greater actuality. Foryou seldom remember the women you pass
in your goings and comings in the middle of your daily work. But
the womanwhocreepsintoyourheart is the woman of an artist. Stays
with you forever. 'Hester Prynne,' and 'Dorothea Causabon and
'Lizzie Hexam and 'Anno and 'Trilby ono does not meet women
Our good friend Bixby the facile genius of tho Stale Journal is
pained because he has noticed in The Courier an appreciation or
the cleverness of Town Topics. We would much prefer to confine
our admiration to our own publications and our own literati; but if
the State Journal and Mr. Bixby aro lacking in those desirable qual
ities that we find elsewhere, we must insist.! bestowing our appro
val where we will. Town Topics isn't ahvajs nice; but it is invar
iably clever. Some day, if Mr. Bixby continues to improve, wo may
be able to say as much" for his interesting department in our morning
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