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Chambers's Encyclopædia

Nature volume 44, page 173 | Download Citation



No one who has had occasion to refer to the new edition of Chambers's “Encyclopredia” can have failed to appreciate the care and ability with which it is being prepared. The editor has been fortunate enough to secure the cooperation of many eminent writers, and the information given in the various articles, speaking generally, is well up to date and presented in the way most likely to be convenient for students. We are here concerned only with the papers on scientific subjects, and these, in the present as in the preceding volumes, are in every way worthy of the place which has been assigned to them in the scheme of the work as a whole. Prof. P. G. Tait contributes a short but masterly paper on matter, and Dr. Buchan gives a clear and interesting account of meteorology. The essential facts about the Mediterranean are compressed into very small space by Dr. John Murray, who also writes on the Pacific. Prof. James Geikie deals with mountains and palæontology, and Dr. Alfred Daniell has a good popular article on optics, devoted mainly to the history of optical science. In an article on man, Mr. j. Arthur Thomson states very well some of the problems relating to human characteristics, the origin or descent of man, and the antiquity of the race; and the same writer sketches the career of Pasteur, and treats of mammals and parasites. Mimicry forms the subject of an excellent paper by Mr. E. B. Poulton. Of course, no subject is treated exhaustively, but the information given, so far as it goes, is sound, and ample enough for the purposes for which an encyclopredia is usually consulted.

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