29 MARCH 1940, Page 15

To a certain degree we have been more fortunate in

our contacts with the French genius. Most British intellectuals have a good knowledge of French letters, art and architec- ture, whereas in France only a small group of specialists possess any appreciation whatsoever of our own culture. Moreover, whereas for a century educated people in Great Britain have spent their holidays in France, it is only a small minority of Frenchmen who can face the horrors of our climate, our language and our food. Yet we also are in need of the wise interpreter, and it is for this reason that I welcome Messrs. Heinemann's initiative in publishing, for the price of sixpence, Mr. Somerset Maugham's short study of France at War.