Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 52.djvu/144

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132
THE POPULAR SCIENCE MONTHLY.

their transformations; also to observe the habits of free insects, and to make drawings of various parts. Two hundred and ninety-six cuts afford material aid in identifying species.


GENERAL NOTICES.

Some volumes[1] of what promises to be an unusually valuable series (even in this day of series) have recently come to us in the shape of two little histories—one of England and one of Germany. They are intended to give a brief general outline of the more salient and striking points in the history of each country, and are written so as to attract and appeal to children, with the hope that the interest thus stimulated by these mere outlines will lead the grown-up child to a perusal of the more extended and complete general historical accounts. The idea is a good one, and it seems to have been carried out fairly well in both of the present volumes.

The volume on England begins its story with the landing of Julius Cæsar. The state of things which he found and the changes brought about by the Roman conquest are discussed in the first chapter. The second chapter takes us to the Norman conquest. The chapters are divided up in this way all through the book, more stress being laid on the striking and important events from the standpoint of the whole people than on the lives of kings and the battles they fought. The growth of the Parliament and the several reform acts receive special attention.

German history is practically nothing but the story of a series of wars up to the time of the Reformation. This period is given about ninety pages in the present volume. Louis XIV and the War of the Spanish Succession are told about in the fifth chapter. The Seven Years' War and the fall of Germany during the Napeolonic epoch are next taken up; and finally there are two chapters—one on the German Confederation, and the last one on the modern German Empire as it stands to-day.

This notable work was projected by Dr. von Tubeuf to fill a gap in the literature relating to diseases of plants.[2] It deals with those diseases produced by the cryptogams and other lower organisms of the vegetable kingdom. The large number of parasites which attack such lower plants as algæ and lichens have, as a rule, been omitted. In the general part of the volume, comprising the first hundred pages, parasitism and the relations between parasite and host are discussed from a botanical standpoint. The subject of parasitism is immensely important on the economic side; for the ravages of scab and rust, of blight and smut, are world-wide and often grievous. Our author has not been indifferent to making his studies useful, but has summarized the preventive and combative agencies available against the more important diseases of economic plants. In the second or systematic part of the book the pathological phenomena are considered along with the description of the organism producing them. Notices of greater length are given to such parasites and diseases as have formed the subjects of special investigations. The list is intended to be complete for Germany and the neighboring countries, but includes also many species occurring only in other parts of the world, notably in America. Much valuable material has been made available to the author by the recent publication of several important works on the cryptogams. The three hundred and thirty illustrations are almost exclusively the author's own work, and a large part of them illustrate the habitus of pathological organisms. The English edition is more than a translation. It contains many additions by the author and by the editor, and the species of fungi that have been recorded for Britain and North America are indicated.

In a volume entitled The Theory of Electricity and Magnetism Dr. Arthur G. Webster,

  1. History for Young Readers. Germany, by Kate Freiligrath Kroeker. Pp. 251. England, by Francis E. Cooke. Pp 358. Both, New York: D. Appleton and Company. Price, 60 cents each.
  2. Diseases of Plants induced by Cryptogamic Parasites. By Dr Karl Freiherr von Tubeuf. English edition by William G. Smith, B. Sc, Ph. D. Longmans, Green & Co.: London, New York, and Bombay. Pp. 598, 8vo. Price, $5.50 net.