13 NOVEMBER 1926, Page 29

BRITISH BIRDS. Vol. IV. By A. Thorburn. (Long- mans. 16s.)—The

completion of Mr. Thorburn's British Birds is something of an event, for he is almost supreme as a portrait-painter of birds in his combination of fidelity and suggestion. He has illustrated his own letterpress with nearly two hundred new coloured plates. There is scarcely one that is not a picture. in itself, though in just a few— of the Ruff, for example—the reproduction has failed to convey the suggestion of variety and texture in the plumage. It is a remarkable fact that in the history- of British colour- printing, bird-books have taken the lead from the very beginning. Mr. Thorburn's work as reproduced is in apostolic succession to worthy predecessors. It is the latest and the best, and should acquire the value—which grows higher and higher—of older illustrators in the same field. The very concise accounts of each species include the latest information and are admirable in themselves as a book of reference. The four volumes together are priced at 63s.