New Zealander Katherine Mansfield (nee Kathleen Beauchamp), one of the key modernist authors linked to the so-called Bloomsbury set, said of this, her first commercially published work: 'It was a bad book, but the press was kind to it.' Well, maybe it's not as bad as she says - and certainly it's a must-have for anyone who's interested in her work - but, when you get right down to it, of course, this is a bunch of stories, the theme of each of which is that "All Germans are stupid and the first person singlular Anglophile narrator (Miss Mansfield) is a civilised smart ass for pointing it out!" Well, okay if you say so, Miss Mansfield . . . I don't think! And neither do you, I suspect - not in your literary heart of hearts. Because it's the original date of publication of the book which gives us a clue regarding the kindness that was shown to it by the press: 1912 - just two years before WWI broke out, thanks in part to press jingoism . . . and to anti-German propaganda in bad books like this one.