31 MAY 1930, Page 23

Mr. S. Elliott Napier's manner of writing assures us that

he has thoroughly enjoyed collecting the material for Walks Abroad (Angus and Robertson, 7s. 6d.), in which he gives the " record of the experiences of two Australians in the wilds of the United Kingdom." At least he has enjoyed his walks in England and Scotland : there is a certain gloominess about his description of Irish places. One feels that he has done his best to enjoy Ireland but was not quite happy there. The book begins with the tale of a walk to Winchester from Tidworth by way of Shipton, Nether Wallop and Stockbridge. The author has none of the elaborate " culture " of the average globe-trotter. He does not trouble to tell us of the things we ought to know, but infects us with his own enthu- siasm for names and lanes and little rivers. He is a great " stopper " and " starer," and his travels are (mercifully) for pleasure and not for education. The result is that we are not wearied by long descriptions of architectural splendour, but are told of epitaphs like that of the Wykehamist : " He was first in school and we trust he will not be last in heaven, whither he went instead of proceeding to Oxford as he had first intended." From Winchester the two explorers travelled to Romsey and Marlborough, spent a long time in the West Country, visited Warwick and Oxford, and finally London.' Obviously the book is not intended to be an orthodox guide, and for this reason it is in a sense more valuable. We are given the opportunity of seeing certain districts through the eyes of a most exuberant discoverer, who enlivens his narrative' with such comments as this : " Most of the pictures (at Windsor), are portraits, and very good likenesses too. Why, I recognized Queen Henrietta Maria myself, and I've never

even seen her." * * * *