3 DECEMBER 1904, Page 13

The Log of the Griffin : a Cruise from the

Alps to the Thames. By Donald Maxwell. (John Lane. 10s. 6d. net.)—This is a lively book, written in a pleasant, leisurely fashion, and giving details of a most remarkable enterprise,—that of sailing in a flat- bottomed boat from Brunnadern, in Switzerland, to Teddington, on the Thames, a distance of some eight hundred miles. That Mr. Maxwell is very deliberate may be gathered from the fact that he takes nearly a fifth of his book to tell of the building and launching of the 'Griffin.' But then wherever he happens to be—in Switzerland, Germany, Holland, or England—Mr. Maxwell always takes time to observe and dilate upon the humours of the inhabitants ; the peculiarities of the good people who saw the start of the 'Griffin' were certainly worth describing. The crew of the boat do not always find it plain sailing ; occasionally they have to submit to the hardships of a mild sort of shipwreck ; occasionally, also, the boat has to be trans- ported overland. But whatever troubles have to be encountered are cheerfully faced ; and the course taken enables the various towns which are passed, such as Zurich, Strassburg, Cologne, Dordrecht, Veere, and Middelburg, to be examined with care. It is almost pathetic to have to record that the Griffin,' in spite of her success in accomplishing the original purpose of her builders, came to grief in a subsequent tempestuous voyage, and went to the bottom off the Kentish coast. Mr. Maxwell commands a pleasantly and not too flamboyantly graphic style. He has genuine humour, too ; but he must beware lest he yield to the habit of punning, or of giving way to music-hall " funniosities " of the " epi-log " type.