ME. W. L. WYLLIE contributes a second set of his attractive and skilful drawings of the Navy to More Sea Fights of the Great War, by W. L. Wyllie, C. Owen, and W. D. Kirkpatrick (Cassell, 15s. net), which is a gift-book of lasting value. The pictures of the Grand Fleet at Scapa are of great interest. Mr. Wyllie used to cruise with the Fleet, and he gives sketches of all classes of warships, from the ' Renown ' and the ' Glorious ' down to the queer ' X 222,' a stumpy motor-lighter with a heavy superstructure aft, which drew little water, boasted a speed of six knots, and was originally designed to land troops in North Germany. The text is readable, especially the account of Jutland. But we regret to notice a suggestion that Admiral Cradock at Coronel was guilty of an " error of judgment " in fighting instead of trying to escape. Such a suggestion is very unfair to the gallant dead ; moreover, there is good reason to believe that Coronel, as a delaying action, hindered Admiral von Spec's plans for attacking our commerce in the Atlantic before the Admiralty was ready to deal with him.—England in France, by Charles Vince, with Drawings by Sydney R.. Jones, R.E. (Constable, 21s. net), is a fascinating book. The text recalls bygone English campaigns in France and Flanders,
and narrates briefly the experiences of the 59th Division in the war, beginning, by the way, with the occupation of revolting Dublin. The drawings, excellent of their kind, will stir many, memories, since they represent the towns and villages that had an unwelcome fame thrust upon them, like Dompierre, Beaumetz, Mericourt, or Albert, besides well-known places like Peronne, Noyon, Nesle, and Amiens. Mr. Jones made good use of his scanty leisure in producing these admirable sketches of the France through which the 59th Division toiled and fought.—Mr. F. B. Young's spirited book on the East African campaign, Marching on Tanga (Coffins, 10s. 6d. net), has been reissued with some coloured pictures by Mr. J. E. Sutcliffe and a number of photographs.
Miss Jessie MacGregor has written an entertaining history of the Gardens of Celebrities and Celebrated Gardens in and around London (Hutchinson, 25s. net), and has illustrated it with a number of pleasant coloured pictures. She begins with Lambeth and Fulham Palaces, and recalls how, as Fuller said, " gardens began to creep out of Holland into England in the reign of Henry the Eighth," and Bishop Bonner, and Grinds! after him, cultivated the vine with much success at Fulham. She goes on to Sion House, with the mulberry-tree that is reputed to have come from Persia in 1548; to the Chelsea " Physicke Garden," founded in 1670 ; to Marlborough House, with the garden that was laid out by the redoubtable Duchess Sarah, and that probably incorporated Nell Gwynne's garden ; to Chiswick House, Holland House, and other more modern houses with gardens, including the house still standing in The Grove at Highgate where Coleridge lived with his friend Dr. Gillman from 1813 to 1834. If Miss MacGregor sometimes tells us a good deal more about the houses than about the gardens, that is no matter for complaint. Her book is highly interesting, and suggests that there is a pleasant field for research in the history of English gardens.—Some British Ballads (Con_ stable, 16s. net) is a good selection, including some of the less familiar pieces from the late Professor Child's great work. Besides " Chevy Chase " and " Sir Patrick Spew," " Helen of Kirkconnel " and " The Bailiff's Daughter of Islington," we are glad to see the old Border ballad on " The Death of Parcy Reed," " The Twa Corbies," " Yonge Andrew," " Binnorie," and others that are less commonly reprinted. Mr. Rackham has illustrated the baok with a number of spirited drawings, in line and colour.—Another pleasant volume is Saints and their Stories, by Peggy Webling (Nisbet, 12s. 6d. net), for which Mr. Cayley Robinson has made some thoughtful coloured designs, suggested by, rather than illustrative of, the lives of the twenty saints from St. Christopher to St. Joan of Arc.
Mrs. Anne Douglas Sedgwick draws a pretty picture of A Childhood in Brittany Eighty Years Ago (Arnold, 10s. ficl. net) from the reminiscences of an old French friend. The ways of Breton society under Louis Philippe were much as they had been under Louis XVI., and the peasantry clung to their ancient customs and traditions. Mrs. Sedgwick's book, with its wealth of intimate detail about the young girl, her mother and her grandmother, reminds us not a little of Cranford, but Cranford was, of course, far more modem than Quimper. We are not sure that French provincial life, in its essentials, has changed very greatly in eighty years. The dwellers in large cities tend to exaggerate the speed at which society as a whole is being transformed by modern inventions. The book is well illustrated.—The well-]mown American novelist, Mrs. Gene Stratton-Porter, has written a capital book on Homing with the Birds (Murray, 10s. 6d.), illustrated with many good photographs. Her knowledge of wild nature is attested by her stories. In this book she has set down " the queerest and most peculiar things " that she has noticed in her lifelong study of birds. She says, for instance, that she taught her parrot and her cage birds to whistle the " Carnival de Venise " to her piano accompaniment, and was proud of her feat, until she discovered that they whistled it just as well when she was working her sewing-machine. Her chapters on " Nest Building " and "How the Birds Know" are of great interest, because she can describe her observations in simple language.—Mr. W. IL Hudson has rewritten a well-known early book of his under the title of Birds in Town and Village (Dent, 10s. 6d. net), and has added to it six chapters on the birds of a Cornish village. Mr. E. J. Detmold has made for the book eight charming coloured pictures of birds, including a fine heron and a very sprightly jay. In Cornwall recently Mr. Hudson found that the starlings, wood-pigeons, and jackdaws were increasing rapidly in number,
and that no modern gamekeeper would shoot a jackdaw despite his predatory habits. The book is well worth reading.
The real life of modern Italy, as distinguished from the Italy of the tourist, is exceptionally well described by Miss Tony Cyriax in Among Italian Peasants (Collins, 12a. 6d.), with illustrations by herself. Her pictures seem at first somewhat affected in their homeliness, but when one grows used to them one sees that they represent the simple Italian peasantry more faithfully perhaps than a more conventional art might do. In the book Miss Cyriax narrates with quiet humour the little doings of a village somewhere in the Apennines. She makes us realize how desperately hard is the Italian peasant's life. He works incessantly to serape a bare living from the soil, and the failure of the harvest means starvation. The author shows, too, how the peasantry look to America as a land of gold, where in a few years they can save enough to return home and live :n modest comfort. All through the book we hear of villagers :outing from, or setting out for, the New World, though they would much prefer, if they could, to stay in Italy. It is this intimate connexion between Italy and America that caused President Wilson to be received with such overwhelming snthusiasm by the Italians early in the year, and that has sharpened the disappointment occasioned to Italy by the President's attitude in regard to Fiume. Miss Cyriax has written a book which is not only entertaining in itself, but also throws much light on the domestic problems of Italy. The village priest, it may be noted, is mentioned in very uncomplimentary terms.