5 DECEMBER 1885, Page 24

A Short History of the Netherlands. By Alexander Young. (T.

Fisher Unwin.)—This is a too closely printed, and not too well illas- trated, but pleasantly written volume on a subject which has not lost any of its attractiveness for students of European history. Mr. Young is perfectly fair to his readers. He does not pretend to enter into competition with Mr. Motley, or Sir William Stirling Maxwell, or any other of the great authorities on his subject, whether British or Con- tinental. Bat, on the other hand, he is something more than a summarist of the histories of others. He has studied for himself the works of the Belgian and Dutch scholars who have lately thrown no inconsiderable amount of light on the history of what was the common Fatherland of their ancestors. He has also gone to original authorities, such as the archives of the House of Orange-Nassau, and the correspondence of William the Silent, Philip II., and Alex- ander Farnese. He has stated with especial and commendablefalness all that can be ascertained regarding the various attempts that were

made on the life of William previous to that which proved successful. Mr. Young is very unpretentious, and deserves all encouragement to enter upon some historical track that has been less traversed. A remark of his own about his book indicates in an indirect way the use to which it had best be put. He says it is "designed for mature as well as young readers." This would seem to indicate a belief or suspicion on his own part that it will be specially affected by "young readers ;" and indeed, it will be found a very valuable manual of the history of the Netherlands by all young men who, for any reason, have to become students of it.