27 JANUARY 1900, Page 12

The Sovereign Ladies of Europe. Edited by the Countess A.

von Bothmer. (Hutchinson and Co. 16s.)—Possibly only those who have accomplished similar work can appreciate the tact with which it is needful to proceed when drawing for them- selves and others recognisable portraits of great ladies,—much more of Sovereign ladies, some of whose histories are not lacking in romance, and all of whom furnish excellent material for character-study. We venture to emphasise, what the publication and republication of these papers argues, that they are accurate as to external fact and " acceptable " to those concerned. Cer- tainly the hundred and fifty-three illustrations—a number sacred to Dean Colet's scholars—and the four hundred and four- teen pages are calculated to put a congenially minded reader in complete possession of all the information required to enjoy the Court Circular Without sarcasm, we can imagine looking at it with a certain amount of interest while waiting for doctor or dentist. Loyal old gentlewomen will like it for a pre- . sent, though they will scarcely understand why Royalty need work—or bicycle. The volume is really a very handsome pro- duction, and, as the well-known able woman who has edited it pithily says, the sketches "prove beyond the shadow of a doubt that to rule or to reign in our time means work—work of the hardest description."