2 DECEMBER 1899, Page 38

MISCELL ANEOUR.—Behind the Veil (Gay and Bird), is another effort

to write on a theme which is very fascinating, but very dangerous, —the life beyond the grave. Mrs. Oliphant achieved a remarkable success in her "Little Pilgrim," but she had a most uncommon combination of qualifying powers. We do not care to criticise this little volume, but content ourselves with this mention of it. —Twelve Notable Good Women. By Rosa Nouchette Cava/ • (Hutchinson and Co. 6s.)—It would be ungracious to criticise Miss Carey's selection of the twelve. She never intended to make a competitive examination in goodness, and we are cer- tainly glad to have the twelve biographies which she has thought fit to give us. The names are the Queen ; of other English Royalties, three, the Princess of Wales, the Princess Alice, and the Duchess of Teck; Lady Burdett-Coutts, Florence Nightingale, Elizabeth Fry, Sister Dora, Agnes Weston, Grace Darling, Lady Henry Somerset, and Frances Ridley Havergal. Nor have we any criticism to pass on the execution of the work. Possibly the title of the "Daughter of an Hundred Earls" might have been changed for something a little more accurate.— The Agricultural Handbook and Diary, 1900. Edited by C. Adeane and Richardson Carr. (Vinton and Co.)—The editors have collected here a considerable quantity of useful facts and figures. First we have the comparative returns for 1898-99 (the agricultural year running from Michaelmas) of rainfall, land under various crops, and livestock. Succeeding papers deal- with "Growing Woods for Profit," "Agricultural Co-opera. tion " (in Ireland), 'Laying Down Land to Grass," "Dairy Cows and their Treatment," where the necessity of having well-bred cows is strongly insisted upon. A herd of eighty-two cows, to give a concrete example, costs £1,000 (about) in food. This is a fixed figure. How important, then, is the yield, varying as it does from 400 to 700 gallons per cow, represented by 411 13s. and £20 8s. respectively. There is also a paper on veterinary aid to sick and injured animals, and some notes on rates, Income-tax, Land-tax, &c., and some tables of weights and measures. Finally, there is a diary, with two days to the page. The diary should prove most useful, and we hope to see it become an " annual."— We have received a handsome edition of the text (with various readings) of La Commedia di Dante Alighieri, "Ii Testo Wittiano " riveduto da Paget Toynbee (Methuen et Cie., 6s.) The year 1900 will be the sexcentenary of the publication of the " Inferno."— Pictorial Picktviekiana. Edited by Joseph Grego. (Chapman and Hall. 21s. net.)—Here we have a collection of drawings which illustrated, or were intended to illustrate, "Pickwick." Every one knows the story of how Seymour, who was the true originator of the idea, killed himself, after the publication of the first number, and how " Phiz " (Hablot K. Browne) was put in his place. But there were other artists, both authorised and unauthorised, at work, and there were also suggestions for illustrations made on the part of the author. Consequently the illustrations are fre- quently double. There is the design originally suggested, and there is that which was ultimately used. Dickens manifestly took the greatest interest in the matter, and was not willing to put up with the perfunctory and worthless kind of illustration with which many publishers were, and some possibly are still, content. It would be superfluous to criticise at this time of day any of these drawings, but we may say that Sir John Gilbert's impress one by their ability, and so also do some of the "pirate" illustrators, if one must call them so.—Primeval Scenes. By the Rev. H. H. Hutchinson. (Lamley and Co. 6s.)—Mr. Hutchinson criticises the very funny drawings which Mr. Reed has given us in his "Prehistoric Peeps "—as "No Bathing To-day "—on the score of their anachronisms,— man being made contemporary with creatures of far earlier times. In this volume be is careful not to mislead. Helped by his illus- trators, Mr. J. Hassan and Mr. F. V. Burridge, he pictures primeval man at work and play, along with such creatures as he may be supposed really to have seen, the mammoth, for instance. We have, too, representations of human life only, as "Marriage by Capture." This is all very laudable, but we still have a certain liking for Mr. Reed's impossibilities.—A Nobody's Scrap. Book (Wells Gardner, Darton, and Co., 3s. 6d.), is not corrective or didactic in any way, but simply amusing, very amusing ; the drawings are not a little clever also.—In Told in the Twilight, by Blanche McManus (C. Arthur Pearson), the tales are the most important element, the drawing sufficiently good. — E/fin Rhymes. By "Norman." (Gay and Bird. 5s.)—Here we cannot say much for the rhymes, while the illustrations have vigour, though their colouring might have been improved..