27 JANUARY 1900, Page 38

The Madeira Islands. By Anthony J. Drexel Biddle. 2 vols.

(Hurst and Blackett.)—Mr. Biddle relates the history of Madeira and describes the island, giving also an account of the manners and customs of the natives, and of the advantages which are at the disposal of visitors. Mr. Biddle tells us that the Madeirans hate the English, and love his own countrymen, whose flag with its stars and stripes symbolises to them freedom. The reason for this hatred is given with sufficient naivete. " Three-fourths of the wine trade is in the hands of the English, and nearly all the larger shipping firms and banking houses are owned and financed by Englishmen. Hence, it is not to be wondered at that the Portuguese dislike the English." This, in other forms, is pretty much the reason for the same feeling all the world over. Add that we saved Madeira and Portugal from falling into French hands, and there is the amplest cause for hatred. But if the Madeirans imagine that the Americans would have been less prompt in laying hold of the wine trade, the shipping interests, and all the rest of it, they are much mis- taken. And no one knows this better than Mr. Biddle.