15 MAY 1915, Page 24

Frederic Reitlinger escaped from Paris in a balloon in October,

1870, and went as an envoy from the French Govern- ment to Vienna and London to attempt to induce Austria and England to intervene in the war on the side of France. He subsequently wrote an account of his experiences, and this is now translated into English by his nephew, Mr. Henry Reitlinger (Chatto and Windus, 2s. net). A Diplomat's Memoir of 1870, as the work is called, is chiefly of interest (apart from the thrilling story of the balloon voyage) for its description of the author's interviews with Lord Granville and Mr. Gladstone. They were, of course, adamant to all his pleas in favour of intervention; but the very speculative question now arises whether, if they had taken action in 1870, the causes which led to the present war might not conceivably have been removed.