27 NOVEMBER 1886, Page 23

Perseverance Island ; or, the Robinson Crusoe of the Nineteenth

Century. By Douglas Frazar. (Blackie and Son.)—There is ingenuity in the central idea of this story. A man is washed ashore on an uninhabited island, with nothing but a few yards of Manilla rope and some boot-nails ; and in the coarse of a few years, thanks to his having studied the Amateur Mechanic, or some such publication, he surrounds himself with all the resources of civilisa- tion, and even goes beyond what has yet been accomplished elsewhere, for he constructs a flying-machine that can be steered against the wind. He has, it is true, some help in his discoveries, for he finds iron and ealtpetre (which he oddly enough calls "potassium"). Still, he accomplishes marvels, makes bricks, constructs cannon, a steam yacht, a submarine boat, and other things in plenty, besides teaching his goats to play backgammon. One thing, however, that he accomplishes surpasses even the flying.machine. Anxious to find out the longitude of his island, he takes observations of a lunar eclipse, and takes them at 2 o'clock in the afternoon. "It seemed," he says, describing his experiences on "the balmy spring-like day" with which be was favoured, "as if the sun and moon would never approach each other." But at last they did, and for this once only the sun went between the earth and the moon. This is not Mr. Frazar's explanation, but it is the only one that occurs to us.