8 AUGUST 1885, Page 26

GrIDE-Booas.—Messrs. Cassell and Co. publish three "Official Guides," to the

Midland Railway, the London and North-Western Railway, and the Great Western Railway. All three are useful and even readable volumes, appropriately illustrated, and written with freshness and liveliness. Now and then we may object to a phrase, as when London is contrasted with Birmingham as the "Metropolis of Middlesex" with the "Metropolis of the Midlands." Sorely that is somewhat disparaging to the greatest city of the world, the heart of which, by the way, is not in Middlesex at all, and which has no small part of its vast domain in Surrey. When we have further objected to the practice of inserting advertisements in the body of the work—why, e.g., face the account of the journey, "Chester to Manchester," with a hideously graphic recommendation of some- body's " dog-soap " P—we have done with our grumbling. These volumes are a really valuable recognition of the claims of the United Kingdom as a country to travel in. Will not the railway companies follow up the publication of them with a more generous, or rather more accommodating, treatment of their passengers ? These guides are but of little use to those who are not allowed to break their journey save at one or two definite places. Why not issue tickets which would be available in any way the passenger pleases, provided he did not travel over the same ground twice ? And, if the idea is not too shocking to be pro- pounded, why not allow a traveller to go to Manchester, say, by the Midland, and return by the London and North-Western P—A more extensive undertaking than the volumes just noticed is Paterson's Guide-Book to the United Kingdom. (W. Paterson, Edinburgh ; Stan- ford, London.)—It is by the author of books which have had a decided success, and has every promise of being a success itself. It is plentifully furnished with maps, plans of important towns, ground. plans of cathedrals (an admirable and, as far as we know, novel feature), &a., and while it supplies the usual information which the traveller wants for his material comfort, it also supplies some really instructive and profitable reading. A smaller volume, Paterson's Guide-Book to England and Wales, the preface to which is signed with the name of John Merrylees, supplies travellers who do not wish to extend their journey further afield with the information they need. We have also to mention, as coming from the same publishers, the new issue of a volume of which we have before spoken with well. deserved praise, The Englishman's Guide-Book to the United States and Canada.