27 JUNE 1896, Page 12

The Story of Australasia. By J. S. Laurie. (Osgood, McIlvaine,

and Co.)—Mr. Laurie has not altogether fulfilled his excellent intention of writing a standard popular account of the settlement and colonisation of Australia, a task by no means difficult of accomplishment with such excellent guides as the Rev. Tenison Woods and Mr. G. W. Misdeal in advance. Mr. Laurie presents us with a series of fairly accurate character-sketches of the early governors of New South Wales, from Captain Phillip, the leader of that motley company of convicts, sailors, and marines which arrived in Botany Bay in 1788, to Sir Richard Bourke, who may be said to be the first of the Australian governors of the modern type. But in a book of this kind why should a special chapter be devoted to the eulogy of Dr. Lang ? Wentworth, Richard Windeyer, the late Lord Sherbrooke, Sir Henry Parkes, and others played an equally important part in converting this strange "over-the-sea prison reformatory" into a great and growing English commonwealth. Nor should Mr. Laurie, "Inspector of Schools," confuse Dr. Charles Darwin with his grandfather, Dr. Erasmus Darwin, who in 1790 wrote the well-known poetical forecast of the coming glories of Sydney, which Mr. Laurie attributes to the great naturalist.