27 JUNE 1896, Page 12

Journal of Rear - Admiral Bartholomew James, 1752 - 1829. Edited by John Knox

Laughton, MA., with the assistance of James Young F. Sulivan. (Naval Records Society.)—With every feeling of sympathy for the work of the Naval Records Society in publishing the journals of distinguished sailors and others we cannot but point out that this Journal of Admiral James throws little fresh light on an eventful epoch in our annals After carefully reading the book we seem to have gained no further insight into the story of that fierce war with the revolted North American colon- ists, backed up by the French on sea and land. It must be admitted that the portrait which the old Admiral unconsciously draws of himself in these pages is a pleasant one of a brave, gallant, and simple-minded sailor; and there are certain stray entries in the Journal which seem to bring out more clearly the conditions under which we maintained for so long a hopeless and deplorable struggle. But everything of any intrinsic value in the book could easily and profitably have been compressed into an ordinary magazine article of ten pages. -Under the circum- stances we would urge upon the Council of the Society whether it is not unwise to print such records in glob°. It would involve much greater editorial labour to sift them carefully and to let those portions only see the light which are of real value or of novel interest ; but this is the work really requiring to be done if the Naval Records Society is desirous of interesting the public in the great story of our naval annals.