7 DECEMBER 1889, Page 8

The Eagle Cliff. By R. M. Ballantyne. (Partridge.)—This is one

of the pleasantest, best constructed, most humorous, and most im- probable stories that Mr. Ballantyne has written. It is a positive triumph in the way of plot-invention for him to make his cycling hero, John Barret, run into an old lady in London, get shipwrecked on one of the Western islands of Scotland, and there fall in—and, of course, fall in love—with the old lady's daughter. There is naturally an abundance of adventure in The Eagle Cliff, as well as of love-making and hunting for" specimens" of the natural-history kind. But, on the whole, character, especially Scotch character, is the strong point in The Eagle Cliff. All the characters in the Kinlossie household, from the laird downwards, are remarkably well drawn. In fact, this book is quite as much of a novel as of a gift-book, and seems to prove that if Mr. Ballantyne had devoted himself to the writing of Scotch fiction, in the larger sense of the word, he would have achieved a considerable success.