The Pamphlet Collection of Sir Robert Stout: Volume 62
Methven, Cathcart W. (M.Inst.C.E.).—Sketches of Durban and its Harbour in 1891. 4to. Durban. Messrs. P. Davis & Sons. 1891. [Presented by the Publishers.]
This excellent series of sketches of Durban and its harbour has been executed by Mr. Methven, who holds the appointment of Engineer-in-Chief to the Natal Harbour Board, in intervals of leisure, and the subjects selected are, for the most part, familiar to all who have any acquaintance with the town and port, and are exact reproductions of the original signed sketches. The selection is an excellent one, more especially as regards the harbour, as, of the thirty-five views of which the work consists, twenty-three reveal the wonders which have been wrought by enterprise and energy since the Harbour Board took command of the port. It fell to the lot of Mr. Methven to take up the work begun by his lamented predecessor, Mr. Edward Innes, in 1881, and carried on by that able engineer up to the time of his death in 1887. With how much vigour and success those works have been prosecuted, the sketches contained in the work demonstrate. An historical sketch of the Colony, which precedes the views, is contributed by Sir John Robinson, and the work cannot fail to be the means of preserving pleasant recollections of the town and port, not only to the present inhabitants, but also to visitors and former residents living outside the Colony.
Port Elizabeth Directory and Guide. 8vo. Pp. 164. Port Elizabeth. James Kemsley & Co. 1892. [Presented by the Publishers.]
The publishers of this handbook deserve credit for having supplied a long-felt want in the shape of a collection of local information regarding page 474 the important town of Port Elizabeth, which of recent years has gained so prominent a position in the Colony as a commercial centre, which may be chiefly attributed to the recent railway extensions, which have brought the port into direct communication, not only with all the principal towns of the Colony, but also with the Orange Free State and British Bechuanaland; in addition to which, it will very soon be possible for the inhabitants of the Transvaal to travel direct to Port Elizabeth by train. In consideration of the difficulty experienced by visitors on arrival at Port Elizabeth in finding their way about the town, and in order to obviate this in future, an account of the principal public institutions of the town, together with other information of a useful character, is embodied in the work. The general directory and notes on local affairs will prove of considerable service to residents, besides being handy for reference to those otherwise interested in the Colony.
Ritchie, J. Ewing.—Brighter South Africa; or, Life at the Cape and Natal. 12mo. Pp. viii.-232. London. T. Fisher Unwin. 1892. (Price 5s.) [Presented by the Publisher.]
The Author of this work, better known as "Christopher Crayon," has already given an account of his travels in Canada and Australia in two works entitled, "To Canada with Emigrants," and "An Australian Ramble," which describe in a light, sketchy manner his visits to those Colonies. In the same manner he now describes a recent tour in South Africa, his love for travel having tempted him to that part of the Empire, which he states he prefers to either of the other two. Mr. Ritchie, like so many recent authors, devotes forty-six pages to the oft-told tale of the voyage, which contains an account of the usual daily life on board ship and the places visited en route. After describing Cape Town, which he states is not much of a place to look at, and which boasts of few fine buildings, he proceeded to Kimberley, Port Elizabeth, East London and Natal, and being a keen observer and possessing a ready pen, the various points of interest in those towns are graphically described. The various questions affecting the position and progress of South Africa, including such topics as the Afrikander Bund, Republican tendencies, the native question, and politics generally, also claimed the attention of the Author, who does not appear to have gained a very exalted opinion of the great politicians of the Cape, whose politics, he states, chiefly refer to railways. The book, which contains a map and several illustrations of mail-steamers, &c., will no doubt prove of use as a guide to the intending visitor, and the opinions upon various political questions may also interest residents in South Africa.