Recollections of a Happy Life

Recollections of a Happy Life

Recollections of a Happy Life

Recollections of a Happy Life

Excerpt

When the type-written "copy" for this book was sent to me a couple of weeks ago in order that an introduction might be written, the thoughtful representative of Mr. Egan's family kindly assured me that I was not expected to read any more of the pages than might be "necessary to get the general run of the story." Of course, being thus relieved from compulsion, I was irresistibly tempted to read the manuscript all through. Having fortunately yielded to that temptation, I am now tempted to write a full review of a volume so rich in matter, so lively in manner, so variously interesting, and so sure of a high place among modern autobiographies.

But full reviews may be left to the regular reviewers,--a company in which Mr. Egan himself served with singular honour in his last years. My office is merely that of an introducer of a profitable new volume to the General and Gentle Reader, the person who reads for pure pleasure.

Let me say then, without flourish, or reserve, that Mr. Egan has left us, as his last gift, a delectable book. Wise, witty, and whimsical, it deals with the great affairs and the small happenings which came within the author's ken and in which he had a part, very freely and frankly, in the spirit of that humane culture which believes so deeply in the serious values of life that it can afford to recognise its humorous aspects. He gives us graphic glimpses of the demurely worldly Philadelphia of the eighteen fifties and sixties; of the semi-barbarous, largely bibulous, and always politically minded Washington of the eighteen seventies; and of the multiple personality of that vast village which is called New York, as it was in the eighteen eighties and nineties. He takes us into the inner life of Catholic schools and universities; of newspaper . . .

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