4 SEPTEMBER 1869, Page 22


The Annual Register for 1868. (Rivingtons.)—A glance at the sum- mary of contents will convince any one that this book, supposing it to be ordinarily well executed, must be very useful. The greater part of the volume is occupied with an account of the history of the session of Parliament, of the General Election, and other political events of the year. Shorter sketches follow of the history of the principal European countries, and of the United States. Besides these, we have reviews of what was done in literature, science, and art ; a ohroniele of remarkable occurrences, including such miscellanea as elections, reviews, storms, accidents, and offences of all kinds ; obituaries of distinguished persons, remarkable trials, such as the Fenian trials, "Lyon v. Home," and the prosecution of Mr. Eyre ; the balance-sheet of public revenue and expenditure ; University Class Lists, &a. There are doubtless some omissions. In a volume of reasonable size—this is a large octavo of about 550 pages, and could not have been conveniently made mach larger—it is manifestly impossible to satisfy all interests. Weshould have been glad to see separate accounts of the progress of affairs in India and our Colonies, even if it had been necessary to find the space by the omission of other matter. Everything that happens hero seems of course to be of transcendent importance ; yet such things as the " Speke mystery" might give place to what concerns some hundrd and fifty millions of human beings in India, or the begin. isingS out of which the great Australian Empire of the future is grow- ing. Perhaps, too, we may suggest that a few more pages should be

given to the less serious side of life. A summary of the results of the great cricket matches of the year, for instance, would not occupy much space, and would interest a great many readers. The execution of the book seems creditably good. We notice, however one distinct fault in the review of literature. It cannot be within the province of a sum- mary of this kind to point out grammatical faults in one of the books noticed. We are not at all concerned to defend the writer criticized (the passage occurs on pages 289-90), but we are bound to say that the remarks about his book have a very personal and undignified look. The index might be advantageously made more complete. On the whole, it is a meritorious and useful book.