24 JUNE 1899, Page 11

History of Scotland. By P. Hume Brown. VoL I. (Cambridge

University Press. 5s.)—This new work by the author of the well- known biographies of Knox and Buchanan promises when com- pleted, unless indeed in turn it is to be superseded by the promised monograph of Mr. Andrew Lang, to be the most compact, reliable, and judicious history of Scotland that has ever been published. This volume comes down only to the death of James V. after the defeat of his army by the English at Solway Moss. But it is sufficient to indi- cate what the quality of the whole work will be. Following in the wake and taking advantage of the researches of his more immediate predecessors in Scottish historical work, such as Burton and Skene, he has supplemented these with investigations of his own which have been made possible only by the recent unearthing of private and public documents of the greatest value. He has consequently been able to trace the birth and write the history of Scotch civilisation in a manner that has hitherto been impossible, and to demonstrate the increasing purpose that has run through the struggles between Kings and savage nobles. It is,hardly too much to say that Mr. Brown has rcoonstructed the reigns of David I. and David IL, of James I. and James II., and that he has made it absolutely certain that, in spite of the troubles which were the result of the War of Independence, Scotland's progress in civilisation was as sure, if not as rapid, as that of other European nations. This is no mean whievement, and its value is enhanced by Mr. Hume Brown's abso- ute freedom from prejudice or bias, and his admirably lucid style.