26 NOVEMBER 1937, Page 34

SEEN IN PASSING By Sir Austen Chamberlain

The many friends of that lovable and cultured man, the late Sir Austen Chamberlain, will doubtless be glad to have this selection from his diaries or letters of travel (Cassell, 15s.). The notes reflect his delight in architecture and painting no less than his knowledge of wild flowers and his genial humour. They relate to most of the countries of Europe, but the chapter on Italy is the- most interesting, because the author and his friend visited many out-of-the-way towns like Gubbio and Cortona as well as the usual show-places. An exquisite " Madonna " by Ottaviano Nell which Sir Austen saw in the Duomo at Gubbio is included among the thirty-two excel- lent illustrations to show that it is well worth while to go off the beaten track when one is in Italy. Sir Austen's notes on a long tour in France will provide useful hints to fellow-motorists, for he was not in too much of a hurry to stop and look at the smaller towns, especially in the south, and thus discovered for himself the charms of little places like Albi and Cordes.