24 JUNE 1899, Page 11

The Valley of Light. By W. Basil Worsfold. (Macmillan and

Co. 10s.)—The chief fault to be found with this pleasing and interesting volume of studies with pen and pencil in the Vaudois Valleys of Piedmont is the form into which it has been thrown. It consists ostensibly of letters to " Sibyl." It may be doubted if a book of travels should ever take such a form. In any case, the reader is not only impeded by digressions full of courtesy worthy of Versailles at its best in the letters to Sibyl, but he is also puzzled by allusions to, and quotations from, letters from Sibyl. Otherwise, Mr. Worsfold may be allowed to have written an excellent work of the not too sensationally graphic sort,—to have written it, also, in that spirit of simple piety which seems eminently suited for the treatment of such a subject as the Waldenses. He tells at perhaps too great length the old tragic story of the massacres, of Cromwell's action, and of Milton's sonnet. But he is never at fault—except perhaps when he goes off at a tangent into a discussion of the Swiss eleven- hour-day in bringing vividly before us, with pencil as with pen, Torre Pellice, Lnserna, the Valley of Angrogna, Bobbio, Fenestrelle, and the Valley of Kora. In a final chapter on the. " Emancipation Jubilee" Mr. Worsfold deals at some length with the present condition, industrial and educational, of the population of the Vaudois Valleys, which seems to stand stationary at less than thirty thousand. Mr. Worsfold thinks that something should be done, especially by the Vaudois themselves, to check emigration. Diffuse- ness apart, this is an interesting and useful book.