27 JANUARY 1900, Page 13

London at the End of the Century. By A. W.

k Beckett. (Hurst and Blackett. 3s. 6d.) –This is the merest collection of journal- istic odds and ends, so utterly ephemeral in character that one wonders why Mr. k Beckett and his publishers should have had them collected and presented in book form. Even the very title is a misnomer, for to pad out the volume the author on more than one occasion crosses the Channel, and fills up a chapter or two about the familiar sights of Paris. The book— if book it can be called—is written in a genial spirit through. out, but we rather fear that the modern American humourist would only see in these pages the direful result of supplying " copy " for years to English comic journals. Not even the strongest brain can stand such a strain. Hence it is that, on so inviting and inexhaustible a theme as " London at the end of the century," Mr. a Beckett, for all his three hundred and fifty pages, has absolutely nothing whatever to tell us.