27 NOVEMBER 1959, Page 36

The Duke to the Rescue

Boy's Own Companion. Edited by Jack Cox. (Lutterworth, 10s. 6d.) THE Boy's Own Companion, a Bedside BOP, has a frontispiece of the Duke of 'Edinburgh (bowling away in some cricket match somewhere, incon- gruously wearing sun-glasses), stories and strip cartoons. There is a particularly interesting article by Justin Atholl on how to make your own codes and ciphers and a good story on motor racing by Elleston Trevor. It's a book that may make older readers feel their age—one party hint reads: 'Invite your four strongest friends to come for- ward, saying that you intend to challenge the might of them all together. . .

John May's biography of the Duke's school- days has lots of photographs of him from the age of one onwards, and the text, says the author, has been cleared with the subject. The style is jaunty ('Philip came dashing across the sands like a galloping horse'), hearty ('Philip felt just like a good game of Rugby football'), sycophantic "Poof!" One of them blew a great breath as he came up. "I wish I could dive like Philip. He's good." '). Naturally the implications of all the nonsense about the Salem-Gordonstoun regime aren't apparent. A great pity, but perhaps an inevitable omission in hagiography like this.

Antarctic Adventure by Sir Vivian Fuchs is a rewrite for children of Bunny's bigger book on the crossing of the southern ice cap. It's a good exciting story of the great adventure and the Kodachromes are superb, probably the best colour shots ever taken of Antarctica. Inevitably, too. there's no mention of the row between Fuchs and Hillary when Ed jumped the gun and went for the Pole.