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The Pamphlet Collection of Sir Robert Stout: Volume 72

India, Ceylon, Straits Settlements, Etc

page 106

India, Ceylon, Straits Settlements, Etc.

Ferguson, John.Ceylon in 1893, describing the Progress of the Island since 1803, its present Agricultural and CommcrcuAi Enterprises, and its Attractions to Visitors. 12mo. Pp. xv-491. London: John Haddon and Co. 1893.

The "Handbook of Ceylon," which has now reached its fourth edition, is a succinct and popular account of the Island, contributed by a gentleman who possesses a better knowledge of the Colony than probably any other resident. In its present form it will prove of service to all interested in the Island, whether they are connected with it in either an official, commercial, or general capacity, whilst for those home residents who have relatives there, or for intending settlers, it will prove invaluable, The pleasure-seeker and tourist will by its aid be enabled to decide upon a definite tour, having the advantage of noting that which is worth seeing and so saving considerable time and trouble on arrival in the Colony. The various chapters dealing with a general history of Ceylon, its social progress, native agricultural and manufacturing interests, the planting industry, prospects for capitalists, &c., have all been brought up to date, whilst several have been entirely re-written. The Appendix, which occupies about half the work, is divided into fifteen divisions of almost entirely new matter, including the lectures delivered by the Author before the Royal Colonial Institute and the London Chamber of Commerce during, 1892; a great deal of information respecting the staple planting product, tea, and other industries; much respecting shooting trips and sport; with accounts of the steamer trip round the island, and the journey across through the Eastern and Uva provinces to the new Railway Extension and thence to the "Buried Capital" of the North Central Province. The latest information respecting Buddhism in Ceylon is afforded through a long review of the valuable new book on the subject by the Bishop of Colombo, while the position of Christianity and Missions in the island is fairly indicated. The main results of the Census of 1891 are given, and a Glossary of native terms from a paper compiled under official auspices, which will be very useful for reference. A full Index makes all the main "facts and figures," as well as the general information, readily available. A large number of new engravings have been added, both in the text and the appendices, whilst a map of the island has been included which will be found convenient for reference.

Trimen, Henry (M.B. Lond., F.R.S.A Handbook of the Flon of Ceylon. Part 1. 8vo. Pp. xvi-327, and plates. London: Dulau & Co. 1893.

The Author of this work holds the position of Director of the Botanic Gardens of Ceylon, and has on various occasions contributed useful information regarding the flora of the island. In an introductory note Mr. page 107 Trimen explains that the object of this Handbook is to enable observers in Ceylon to ascertain the name of any plant they may find growing wild, and when this is arrived at to trace its distribution and to investigate its properties and uses. The work refers to Ceylon only, the descriptions laving been made wholly from Ceylon specimens, although certain other plants which are not natives of the island, but have been introduced and are met with in a more or less completely wild or naturalised state, are included amongst the species. A collection of twenty-five coloured plates accompanies the work, which has been selected from an extensiv series illustrating the Ceylon flora which is preserved in the Library of the Botanic Gardens at Peradeniya. This collection was commenced more than fifty years ago, and has been steadily continued under successive directors. It is now stated to number several thousand drawings, and, it is worthy of note, has been wholly the work of three members of one Sinhalese family employed successively as draftsmen on the Garden Staff. Mr. Trimen has rendered considerable service by embodying with a description of the species a series of notes on their history, distribution and uses.

Tyacke, Mrs. R. H.How I shot my Bears; or, Two Years' Tent life in Kullu and Lahoul. 12mo. Pp. xi-318. London: Sampson Low, Marston & Co. 1893. (Price 7s. 6d.)

In this description of a lady's sporting tour in India, it is explained that Kullu was selected as a country little disturbed by sportsmen from India, and where a not too rigorous climate and fair shooting could be combined with some chance of obtaining the necessaries of life. The Authoress and her party had the choice of three routes to this distant portion of India, one being from Simla, another from Pathankote, and a third from; Jullundhur. The second of these having been selected, the first part of the route included the Kangra Valley of tea fame and over the Bahu Pass to Karaon. The destination of the party is described as being famous for its forests, which are under the protection of the Indian Forest Department which enforces strict regulations regarding the preservation of the trees. Kullu, although not thickly stocked with game, nevertheless affords good sport to those who, like the Authoress, prefer freedom to frequenting the better known sporting districts of India. The game to be found in Kullu is stated to be most varied, the bag, for one year, of the party including pheasant, chikor, snipe, duck, barking deer, goral, black bears, red bears, and musk deer. In addition to relating her various hunting experiences, Mrs. Tyacke gives a good account of the scenery of the country, together with a description of the native inhabitants, their customs, manners, &c. The latter portion of the book contains an account of Lahoul, which is under British protection, and lies to the north of Kullu. Much useful information may be gleaned by those interested in sporting adventures from a perusal of the work, as well as many hints regarding the necessary clothing, &c., for a hunting tour in Northern India.