The Illustrated London News

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The Illustrated London News, vol. 47, no. 1333, p. 250.

September 9, 1865


...The principal feature of this month's Macmillan is Mr. Deane's narrative of the Atlantic Telegraph expedition, which would have been intensely interesting if it had not been anticipated by the daily newspapers. It is, however, quite equal in interest to any that has appeared; and if unable to vie with Dr. Russell's for the eagerness with which it is devoured by contemporary readers, will, at all events, stand a better chance with posterity. Being written from day to day, while the cable was being laid, it is much more animated and full of matter than the clever summary in the Cornhill. Both writers imply a strong opinion that the injury was designed--the work of "some demon in human form," as Mr. Deane styles him.

As with the Cornhill, one of the best papers in Fraser is an abridgment of an old autobiography. The story of the Chomley family is full of interest, and very pleasant as evincing the permanence of the good old English type of the country gentleman....Readers fond of violent contrasts should pass from the chronicle of the Chomleys to Mr. Conway's sketch of that "great eddy of the mixed human elements of the whole world"--New York. Like all he writes, it is very entertaining reading, and is remarkable for a savage attack on the leviathan political "wire-puller," Mr. Thurlow Weed, and a quiet assumption that the day of the New York Herald is gone by--because, we suppose, its circulation is only double that of any other paper. There is a singular mistake about Aaron Burr, who is said to have spent the last months of his life watching for the foundered ship that should have brought him his daughter. In fact, Burr survived his daughter and his expectations twenty-three years, so surely, even in this material age, does poetical embellishment transform the history of the best-known men....

A new narrative of the American Civil War is commenced in Blackwood, and promises to be a long one. The writer is a Prussian dragoon, for whose manly proportions and strength of muscle we have the editor's assurance, while we may take his own for his good opinion of himself. Too much time is lost in preliminaries, and the narrative bids fair to be characterised by that unreasoning animosity which distinguishes most of the literary monuments of Secession. As, however, the writer was General Stewart's Aide-de-Camp, his story can hardly fail to possess some value....

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