6 SEPTEMBER 1913, Page 24


[Under this leading us talcs such Looks of the week as Sara not Less reserved for review in other forms.] The Franco-Prussian War and its Hidden Causes. By Emile 011ivier. Translated by George Burnham Ives. (Sir Isaac Pitman and Sons. 8s. 6d. net.)—In this book M. Emile 011ivier, whose death is still fresh in our memories, makes his defence to the English-speaking public for his conduct of the state of France during the fatal days which saw the zenith and the tragedy of his political career. The volume, which was pub- lished in French in 1911 under the title of Philosophic d'une Guerre, consists of extracts made by M. 011ivier at the request of the translator from the thirteenth and fourteenth volumes of his famous work, L'Empire Liberal, together with the introductory chapter which formed the exordium to Volume I. M. 011ivier's extracts cover the period between the accession to power of the French Liberal Ministry on January 2nd, 1870, to the King of Prussia's mobilization order of July 15th, and the fullness of the treatment may be judged froM the fact that the story occupies close upon four hundred pages. It is supplemented by copious notes, in which Mr. Ives quotes parallel descriptions from other contemporary writers, and adds passages from L'Empire Liberal which, in his view, give additional support to M. 011ivier's case. There are also several useful appendices. Mr. Ives's translation is thoroughly competent, and does not read either like French or American. That he should succeed in reproducing all the eloquence and vigour of the orator who is said to have been the only man ever elected to the Academie Francaise by a unanimous vote, was not to be expected, but be has produced a really readable book, and one which will be of interest to all students of contemporary European politics.