3 DECEMBER 1904, Page 13

imperia2 Vienna. By A. S. Levetus. (John Lane. 18s. net.)—

This book is unique in its way, for the author assures us that "not even in German has any one book been written which deals with Vienna throughout her different stages of development to the present day." But he rather alarms us by saying that in no way must it be looked upon as exhausting the subject. He has given us here a stout volume of over four hundred pages, and the ordinary reader, at all events, would have wished he had contented himself with a hundred pages less, and can hardly look forward with equanimity to the prospect of a supplementary work, possibly equal in point of substantiality, being issued. Mr. Levetus writes in an interesting fashion, although his style is better adapted for descriptions of streets, houses, and historical monuments than for indulgence in rhetoric. His comment on the most famous incident in the career of Maria Louisa recalls a familiar passage in one of Macaulay's essays, and we are not impressed with the following passage : "Here reposed he who, had he lived, might have changed the face of affairs in Europe as his father had done, the Duke of Reichstadt, son of Napoleon, the Prince in whom France for many years centred her hopes, the Prince whom the guide still designates as Napoleon II., King of Rome." But both from the topographical and historical points of view the volume, which is lavishly and admirably illustrated, is an excellent example of the " superior guide-book "order. At the close, too, Mr. Levetus reproduces the Vienna of to-day and of Francis Joseph. Interspersed with narrative and description are many—but not too many—good stories. The volume is an entertaining and informing one, and is a monument of industry.