This collection of stories, all set in London of the late 19th century, seem drawn-out by our standards, the humor quiet, the pathos pathetic, the plots flimsy, if there is one at all. Barrie, of Peter Pan fame, starts off with a well-conceived piece about a man with a kind heart and a cold exterior who is caught out; The black poodle shows that badly behaved dogs and mislaid plans of love are nothing new; Simmons the hen-pecked copes manfully with his problem; a Yiddish romance is completed economically; the life of painting-copiers tells us of the time before Xerox; The Omnibus is an occasion for kindness; and the Hired Baby cannot redeem its hired mother's tragedy. We find out about the lower orders more than in more popular books of the era. Not a bad read for a stormy night.
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