LORD'S PURSE-BEARERS (THE)

The Lord's Purse-bearers by Hesba Stretton.

The name of Hesba Stretton is too well known in English literature to render it necessary to make special commendation of any work from her pen. No writer of religious fiction stands higher in England, and there is not a Sunday-school library where some one of her volumes may not be found. She has the faculty of entertaining and instructing at the same time. The present publishers have made social arrangements with her for the production in this country of her latest work, and the probabilities are that all her future books will bear their imprint. In The Lord's Pursebearers the author draws a terrible picture of life among the vicious poor in London streets, and shows by what shifts the professional beggars and thieves of the great Babylon manage to live and thrive on the misplaced charity of the pitying well-to-do population. She arouses a strong feeling of sympathy for the children who are bred in the haunts of vice, and who are instructed in crime before they are old enough to know the meaning of the word. The story is one of intense interest, and the characters, especially those of old Isaac Chippendell, his granddaughter Joan, and little Lucky, are forcibly drawn. One can hardly believe that such places exist or that such deeds are perpetrated as are here described, but one who is familiar with London and its streets knows that they are no exaggerations.—D. Lothrop & Co. (1886).