29 APRIL 1899, Page 10

Kings of the Hunting Field. By "Thormanby." (Hutchinson and Co.

16s.)—This is a fairly entertaining, if somewhat mono- tonous, series of memoirs of men who have distinguished them- selves in the hunting-field, whether as masters of famous packs, huntsmen, or bold riders to hounds. The gentleman who writes under the pseudonym of " Thormanby " has collected a good number of amusing anecdotes of the fathers of fox-hunting, Hugo Meynell, Peter Beckford, and John Peel, as well as of such other celebrities of the chase as Thomas Assheton Smith, Squire Osbaldeston, "Nimrod," "The Druid," Parson Russell, and many more too numerous to mention. The author very properly ex- presses himself indebted to other writers, and much of the book is compiled from well-known sources. The biographies of famous fox-hunters have a certain sameness ; our love of the sport makes us regret that so many were such blackguards, but " Thormanby" is lenient to many vices where their possessor is a fox-hunter. There are a number of portraits in the book, for the most part reproduced from the pages of Baity's Magazine. We cannot say much for the research which has been devoted to collecting materials for this volume, nor for the literary skill with which they have been put together. Yet the book is amusing to dip into occasionally ; and perhaps the sportsman who adds the volume to his library will not be too critical of a style which at times too nearly approaches that of the sporting reporter of a provincial newspaper.