The Valley of Light—Studies with Pen and Pencil in the Vaudois Valleys of Piedmont

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    AN author adds to his difficulties by writing a book in the form of letters, especially when he desires to combine instruction with entertainment. Mr. Worsfold has not been more successful than others in overcoming these, and we are not surprised that, as he admits, his fair correspondent found his epistles “not very entertaining.” In fact he does not add much to our knowledge of this district. Like his predecessors, he is almost silent on its geology and botany, and devotes himself to the history of the past persecutions and present fortunes of the Waldenses. The former subject is an interesting but hardly a novel one; for it is treated pretty fully in Beattie's “Waldenses” and Gilly's “Narrative.” The Waldenses, in fact, have already been the cause of not a few books, if we include those in other tongues than our own, and Mr. Worsfold's does little more than add to their number. We doubt, indeed, whether the best authorities would agree with him in tracing the Waldenses back to early Christian settlements in these valleys, or in the date (twelfth century) which he assigns to the Nobla Legon. Nothing of special importance seems to have happened in the Waldensian valleys during the last half-century. Their worthy inhabitants have prospered fairly and maintained their high character, but this, though satisfactory, affords but few opportunities to an author. In short, Mr. Worsfold's book has no scientific value, for even the illustrations are poor; and it displays little historical research or originality.

    The Valley of Light.—Studies with Pen and Pencil in the Vaudois Valleys of Piedmont.

    By W. Basil Worsfold. (London: Macmillan and Co, Ltd., 1899.)

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    The Valley of Light—Studies with Pen and Pencil in the Vaudois Valleys of Piedmont. Nature 59, 414 (1899) doi:10.1038/059414b0

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