18 MAY 1912, Page 25

A Dictionary of Dates, Vol. I., and English Idioms. (Nelson's

Encyclopaedic Library. ls. net each.)—The first two of a useful series of little books uniform with Nelson's Encyclopedia have "cached us. Tho Dictionary of Dates is to be completed in three volumes. The tests of the value of such a volume are accuracy and good arrangement, and so far as we can judge the present book is satisfactory in both of these respects. There are large numbers of cross-references, information upon such various subjects as Cuzco and the British Constitutional Association, and lists of things as different as Billiard Champions and Lord Chancellors. English Idioms contains a very large number of idiomatic phrases alpha- betically arranged and with authorities attached to each. Each is also marked with a letter to indicate the degree of its respectability. Thus "P" is attached to "such phrases as Macaulay or Matthew Arnold might use in their serious writings." Phrases with a "C" are suitable "at gatherings where strangers are present, and where we weigh our words before uttering them." And similarly for two other classes.