12 MARCH 1864, Page 24

on the whole judiciously, and written his narrative pleasantly. And

though, of course, a work of this kind makes no pretence of reconsider- ing the original authorities, the standard histories and biographies have been carefully collated. The difficulty was, as it seems to us, the selection of the scenes, so as to avoid servilely copying the numerous other works of this nature. You cannot invent new turning-points in the world's history. Accordingly, when Mr. Adams leaves the beaten track, it is a little hard to see why he chose that particular scene more than any other,—why, for instance, the siege of Orleans or the battle of Malplaquet. The student who wishes "to obtain a knowledge of the leading events of European history" will be puzzled by much that Mr. Adams dilates on, and also by much which is conspicuous by its absence. But though not quite what the author fancies it, it is a capital book to attract the attention of boys to historical subjects.