6 JANUARY 1906, Page 38

We have received from Messrs. Hachette two handsome gift- books,

well bound and excellently illustrated. They certainly do not fulfil Dr. Johnson's ideal of a book that you can hold in the hand as you sit over the fire, but this it would be unreasonable to expect. Au Vieux Pays de France, by Louis Rousselet (7 francs), relates holiday excursions in the valleys of rivers that flow into the Atlantic. The traveller starts from Blois, and makes his way to Nantes, and thence to the mouth of the estuary. But this does not include all his wanderings. He explores other valleys, as that of the Indre, the Cher, and the Loir. The noble churches and chateaux that he will see are beyond counting, and they are very worthily pictured here. The other volume is a story, Le Chevalier de Puyjcaou, by H. de Charlien (7 francs). The scene is laid in the time of the Regent, and the hero makes his way from the depths—his father is a ruined noble who is keeping a cabaret when the tale begins—by his good qualities and the kind offices of fortune, for the time is also the time of Law the Financier, to all that lie desires.