20 MAY 1905, Page 23

A Biographical History Reader. Arranged by Beatrice A. Lees. (A.

and C. Black. 2s. 6d.)—This is substantially a reprint from the series of "History in Biography." There are twenty-two biographies, of which King Alfred is the subject of the first, and the two Pitts of the last. The balance seems to be held fairly, though the first Charles is treated with too much leniency. It can hardly be said that he was completely true to "his one great purpose, to defend the Church as he had received it," when he consented to establish Presbyterianism for three years. It is all very well to say that he did it " in the confidence that at the end Episcopacy would be only more firmly established." He made the promise simply because he had no intention of keeping it. But to say that to do this is to be "completely true" is a paradox of which only those who are fascinated by the Stuart charm are capable.