26 DECEMBER 1931, Page 26

" A gray cloth mantle with a golden fringe," said

James VI of Fife, and it is that golden fringe—of (amongst many other historic spots) Culross, Aberdour, Dysart, Largo (where was born Robinson Crusoe's prototype), of the quaint grey fishing towns that cluster round Anstruther, of Crail and St. Andrews, the romantic legends that linger in them, their ghost-lore and witch-lore, their antiquities and odd scraps of history and the explanation of many of their place-names, that form the copiously treated theme of Mr. James Wilkie's Bygone Fife (Blackwood, 21s.). To a dweller in " the Kingdom" it will be a fascinating book to dip into ; others may take pleasure in the stalwart old Catholic dame of Crail who, when she heard the Bishop of Rome spoken of as " that filthy swine " by a Calvinist mess-john, " rose in the cssemble and with hech voce said aganis hym thyr wordis, It is a schame to you that ar gentillmen that ye pull hym nocht owt of the pulpot be the luggis.' " If Jenny Geddes and her stool be apocryphal, here at all events is an authentic

bit of religious fervour from the opposite side. * * * *