11 JUNE 1937, Page 42

Centenary histories such as the great banks and other institutions

have published recently are much to be encouraged. -The Legal and General Assurance Society, however, deserves a special word of Praise for allowing a lighthearted author to Combine a brief sketch of its hundred years of activity with a short .history of Fleet Street by Temple Bar where the society has had its offices. Mr. Leigh-Bennett, with the aid of some excellent plans and illustrations, gives a clear account of the evolution of the Legal headquarters in London. And his amusing chapters on the society's beginnings in 1836, when it had one clerk at 25s, a week and accepted proposals from men who were

"tolerably sober in their habits," if they were not gouty, show as well as the most precise narrative could do how astonishingly the business of life assur- ance • has developed in the century. The usual arid details of progress are added, in an appendix, but this book is meant to be, and will be, read with interest. It is not offered' for sale.