This is a novel written “for a purpose,” the purpose being the exposition of heredity. We are suspicious of such productions for the reason that it is impossible to blend dry scientific facts with the ordinary attributes of popular reading in such a way as to prevent imagination overcoming accuracy. This work, though interesting in many ways, cannot be said to successfully dress science in a popular garb, while it contains many elements of danger to ordinary novelreaders. As to technique, we need hardly say that word structure and word painting are masterly. The plot may be described as a weaving of horrors, psychological, moral, and physical, into a tale of rural and domestic life, the latter being just of that easy and natural character which does so much to promote, whether for good or evil, the intaking of the more active incidents.
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