29 APRIL 1899, Page 9


A Cotswold Village ; or, Country Life and Pursuits in Gloucester- shire. By J. Arthur Gibbs. (J. Murray. 10s. 6d.)—We do not know how best to describe this delightful book about the Cots- wolds. It is not a guide-book in any sense, yet it is full of historical and antiquarian lore ; it has no story running through it, yet it is full of human interest and amusing descriptions of country folk and their ways. It is hardly even a collection of essays. Perhaps it is most like the conversation of a cultivated man who wanders on and tells the reader about his life and doings. The author loves the Cotswolds, and loves to write about them. He is a scholar and a sportsman, a combination which gives a rare charm to his book. Whether he describes a spring morning or a winter sunset, a gallop over the stonewall country or a day's trout-fishing in the Coln, the Roman remains of Cirencester or the village pastimes, it is always pleasant reading. It is long since we have read a book so full of the love of sport and Nature; country things and English rural life. These are not the writings of a literary man who writes of rustic things, but rather of a country gentleman imbued with a genuine wish to make othersleel as he does about his life and surroundings. Tom Peregrine, the gamekeeper, is a character who might almost have been drawn by Addison ; and Richard Jefferies could not have better depicted the Gloucestershire wolds under the varied aspects of the four seasons.