Austria, by Monk Gibbon. 8vo., 258 pages with 98 photographic illustrations, index, and 2 maps. London: B. T. Batsford, Ltd., 1953. Price, 18/—.
A companion to John Russell’s Switzerland (1950), this book offers an excellent general survey of Austria. The wealth of detail, however, is overwhelming, as must be the case with any attempt to convert an abridged Baedeker into readable prose. It is inevitable that one should turn from the text to the well-chosen pictures which make the entire series so attractive. For one who has lived in and written additionally about Austria, it is incredible that the author has confused (p. 109) the mountain-loving Archduke John of Hapsburg (1782-1859) with Archduke Salvator of the Traunsee who, under the name of Johann Orth, vanished at sea in 1891. It is equally odd to find a presumably capable writer using interchangeably in the same chapter (IX) such forms as The Tyrol, Tirol, Tyrolean, Tirolese. Goldenes Adler (p. 197) should be Goldener Adler. The background of the Goldenes Dachl (photo 75), Innsbruck, is certainly not the Dolomites.
J. M. T.