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[Review of The Wife of His Youth]

Chesnutt, Charles W. The Wife of His Youth Houghton, Mifflin & Co. Boston (Cloth. Illustrated. $1.50.)

Some months ago we reviewed "The Conjure Woman," by Mr. Chesnutt. It was a study, from one standpoint, of the old plantation darkey. The present collection of short stories deals with the educated negro in the North and tells of his club life and social hopes and aspirations. We of the South cannot claim familiarity with the type here presented to us and consequently are not in position to speak of its truth; but there is one point to which we wish to direct attention as characteristic of the race. The Blue Veins Club, whose members are concerned in these stories, is a society of mulattoes and is more overbearing towards the pure blacks than the whites are towards them. This race prejudice (as we will call it for want of a better word) furnishes the occasion for an example of renunciation and fidelity which is truly touching in "The Wife of his Youth," the first one of the tales. Finally, the stories show, but in much less marked degree the same features which will prevent its predecessor from attaining great popularity in the South.