10 JANUARY 1931, Page 27

The Malayan 'Archipelago is not so little known as Mr.

Leopold Anisworth would have us believe, but his volume, A Merchant .Venturer Among the Sea Gipsies (Nesbit, 15s.), does nothing to increase our knowledge. Dates are scarce, but we gather that the author was in the country for fourteen years since the War. It is surprising, therefore, to find how little he knows of the real customs or even of the language of the country. Passing over the style in which the book is written, itself a literary offence, what can we say of the unctu- ous rectitude with which the author describes his rejection of proffered amours ? This is an offence against taste which nothing can condone. Minor inaccuracies, such as a cement paving in a little hamlet, need not surprise us after such an assault on our senses.

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