18 OCTOBER 1940, Page 26

Animal, Vegetable and South Kensington. A book of drawings by

Nicolas Bentley. (Methuen. 5s.)

HUGE girls with hockey sticks, retired generals with voices, elderly ladies with astonishing hats and bits of fur—perhaps South Kensington predominates. This is a magnificent book : if you want to see the long expanse of the Cromwell Road, the world of the retired, the ugly and the wealthy, the world of extraordinary eccentricities where almost anything may happen between the pillar-box and the teashop, with new eyes, buy Mr. Bentley's book of drawings. Perhaps that retired Civil Servant over there with poached, secretive eyes is really seeing a magic carpet ; perhaps, if we wait long enough, that extra- ordinary hat will really lay an egg.