23 JULY 1927, Page 38

OLD ENGLISH MILLS AND INNS. By R. Thurston Hopkins. (Cecil

Palmer. 12s. 6d.)—It is high time we did have an authoritative book on the old windmills and water- wheels of England, for it may not be long, unhappily, before the oldest and, artistically, best of them are beyond the reach of the most friendly and industrious biographer. Mr. Hopkins's book gives away many delicious rural secrets— there is a little undreamt of lake beyond Boring Wheel Mill, for instance—and it combines charm with thoroughness, but actually it is concerned with only three counties, Sussex, and parts of Surrey and Kent, and the author has plenty of work ahead of him if he cares to go further afield. Consider the windmills of Norfolk, the watermills of Shropshire and those of Somersetshire rivers. Mr. Hopkins seems undecided as to whether the subject is worth pursuing thus far ; we can assure • him that it is. I see poetry in a crazy old mill where other • people see only rats and cobwebs," he writes, but is that quite fair to the many readers who will certainly find poetry and charm in this rather tentative book of his, l€t alone in the ancient mills themselves ? We hope, at any rate, that this is not to be the last book he gives us on such a fascinating subject.