2 DECEMBER 1911, Page 9

Lives of Great Men Told hy Great Men. Edited by

Richard Wilson. (T. Nelson and Sons. 6s. net.)—We are glad to have Mr. Wilson's book, though we -do not altogether approve of his choice. Some of the men whose lives are told were not great with the sort of greatness which we demand when we are told not only what he did but what he was. Such are Oliver Goldsmith, Robert Burns, Charles Lamb, and Joseph Turner. And the "Told by Great Men " raises a doubt, for does it not include Boswell, a very great biographer, it is true, but not a great man; if he had been he could not have written the immortal Life of Samuel John- son. But it is ungracious to carp at the naming of a good book. Mr. Wilson has taken these lives and adapted what we may call the accepted story of them to the tastes and wants of young readers. Plutarch tells us about Alexander the Great, and Dean Stanley about the Black Prince. We see Sir Thomas More as William Roper describes him to us, and Oliver Cromwell as he appears in the pages of Carlyle. There are some thirty well- chosen and attractive illustrations in colour.