27 NOVEMBER 1915, Page 26

A History of the Gold Coast and Ashanti, by Dr.

W. Walton Claridge (John Murray, 2 vols., 36s. net), covers the whole period from the time of the earliest records of that part of West Africa down to the beginning of the twentieth century. The work, which is exhaustive and scholarly, without being in the least dull, offers an impartially written picture of the process of colonization. The story stops at the close of the last Ashanti War, when the disturbances which had continued almost uninterruptedly for a century were finally suppressed. The author does not show us the excellent results of the subsequent fifteen years of peace, but an introduction by Sir Hugh Clifford, the present Governor of the Gold Coast, tills up the gap. He tells us how the native inhabitants of the Colony have changed from warlike savages into "a sturdy race of peasant proprietors who, among other things, produce

annually more than a fifth of the total cocoa crop of the world." He says, moreover, that at the outbreak of the war the natives in the neighbouring German colony of Togohtnd welcomed our invading forces as their deliverers. Later almost the whole of the local garrison was despatched to assist in the Cameroon% campaign, and "the denudation of the colony and of Ashanti of practically all the troops which, in time of peace, are ordinarily maintained in them, was rendered possible by the enthusiastic loyalty to the British Throne and to the Government which was manifested from end to end of the country."