POPULAR lecturers have discovered for some time that the history of the methods that have been used for obtaining a light is an excellent subject wherewith to please the public mind, and this book contains the reports of three such lectures delivered to a juvenile auditory last Christmas. An attempt has also been made to describe the experimental portion of the lectures, and the author has not committed the common error of giving a multiplicity of pretty but irrelevant experiments conveying a paucity of information. In fact, in some parts the reverse seems the case, for we must confess our inability to discover why a consideration of the allotropic modifications of carbon should necessitate a detailed description of the manufacture of black lead pencils. This digression, however, does not detract from the interest and general merit of the work, which certainly contains the explanation in simple language of some elementary physical and chemical phenomena.
The Story of a Tinder Box.
By Charles M. Tidy, &c. (London: Society for Promoting Christian Knowledge, 1889.)