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Geographical Essays

Nature volume 85, pages 364365 (19 January 1911) | Download Citation



PROF. D. W. JOHNSON has done good service to science by editing this collection of the valuable memoirs by which Prof. W. M. Davis has done so much to advance physical geography and improve geographical education. The volume includes twenty-six papers hitherto scattered in twenty-one serials. The first twelve contributions are essays and lectures on geographical pedagogics; the remaining fourteen deal with various principles of physiography. It would perhaps have been more convenient if the two series had been issued separately, for the volume, though containing no plates, is heavy for its size, and while the physiographic essays may be read with great advantage by advanced students of geology and geography, the educational section is of most use to a different circle of readers. The author's criticisms of teachers and text-books would probably have been better confined to a work expressly for teachers, as it is not always good for the intellectual discipline of students to have their often scanty faith in their instructors still further reduced. Geographical education should, moreover, proceed on such different lines in countries in different stages of development, that its discussion is of more local interest than that of physical problems, which are of universal application. The educational essays should, however, be read by all geographical teachers, who must benefit from their high ideals and valuable practical suggestions.

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