National Geographic : 1897 Mar
GEOGRAPHIC LITERATURE Here they embarked on a small steamboat and descended the Kongo, which at Bumba has a width of 30 kilometers. On August 3 they sailed for Europe, and M. Versepuy died shortly after his return to France. ERNEST DE SASSEVILLE. PARIS, January 22, 1897. GEOGRAPHIC LITERATURE Laboratory Practice for Beginners in Botany. By William A. Setchell, Ph. D., Professor of Botany in the University of California. Pp. xiv + 199. New York: The Macmillan Company. 1897. 90 cents. That school instruction in botany is emerging from the dilettanteism and dry terminologyism of "manuals" on the one hand, and the proud but narrow microscopism of the usual " laboratory guides " on the other, is evidenced by the appearance of Professor Setchell's Laboratory Prac tice for Beginners in Botany. It is a book in which technical names for the parts of plants and machinery for handling and examining specimens are given a subordinate place, while the gross structure of plants is ex amined with the question constantly in mind, " How does the plant make use of the organs, and in what way are the modifications in different plants adapted to their special requirements?" The book contains 16 chapters on the anatomy of seeds, seedlings, roots, stems, leaves, buds, flowers, inflorescence, and fruits, and interspersed chapters on protective structures, storage of food, climbing and insectivorous plants, vegetative reproduction, pollination, seed dispersion, and other similar subjects. The book cannot fail to go a long way toward placing the student-and, we may add, the teacher also-in the attitude of keenly observing the relation of structure to function, a kind of observation in which Charles Darwin and Sir John Lubbock have been our chief masters, and which will ultimately give the science of botany the acute scientific interest and real educational value in secondary schools to which it is so well adapted and so fully entitled. F.V.C. An Introduction to Geology. By W. B . Scott, Blair Professor of Geology and Palaeontology in Princeton University. Pp. xxvii + 573, with numerous illustrations. New York: The Macmillan Company. 1897. $1.90. Students and teachers are to be congratulated on the appearance of another elementary work on geology. As explained by the author, the treatise "had its origin in the attempt to write an introductory work, dealing principally with American geology, upon the lines of Sir Archi bald Geikie's excellent little 'Class Book.' * * * The book is intended to serve as an introduction to the science of Geology, both for students who desire to pursue the subject exhaustively, and also for the much larger class of those who wish merely to obtain an outline of the methods and principal results of the science." The contents suggest that the treatise is an expansion of Professor Scott's lectures on geology in Prince ton University.