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By Fanny B. Workman and William H. Workman. New York: G. P. Putnam's Sons. $2.00. We have had several recent volumes of travel in Spain, but this one is written from a fresh point of view - Spain as seen from the bicycle. Mr. and Mrs. Workman made a tour through "modern Iberia" in the spring and summer of 1895, and as their route lay very often through mountainous regions, a good deal of walking and pushing was done as well as riding, and their entertaining pages of chronicle based upon observations and experiences, awheel and afoot, partake of this delightful spirit of leisurely roaming.  These sketches make up no common guide-book, nor do they insult the page with the fatuous smirk and smile of the traveling egotist.  It is the agreeable rambling of the human mind, flitting as conscienceless from one subject to another as the butterfly in its gay, careening flight.

The purpose of these cycling authors has been to give their own impressions of what they saw of " the nature, people, and art of Spain on a trip of a kind that offered some experiences not usually met with in the ordinary mode of travel. At the same time, an intelligent bicyclist will find consider-able information that might prove useful were he to make a similar journey." A valuable adjunct to this is the map of Spain affixed to the book with a tracing of the route followed by the authors on their wheels. This book is a triumph in its way.

We suppose the prime element that goes to make a successful traveler, one at least who would live to record his peregrinations, to be an inexhaustible fund of good nature. Now think of the hardships, the incessant vexations of riding a bicycle through a country where "puncture of the tires by nails and thorns, or more often by the sharp, strong needles of a variety of thistle... was a matter of almost daily occurrence; sometimes this happened two or three times in a day"—then note the height of sublime in-difference reached in the corollary to all this: "The delays thus caused often afforded opportunities of studying the people!" To be sure, the conjugal felicity in which these two traveled, and which is further exemplified in this book, whereupon husband and wife have inscribed a double dedication in token of the unity in which they dwelt, may have helped them to a superior demeanour. Yet we must confess that on that rainy afternoon when "a tire collapsed" we should have felt on the level of a common humanity with them had they just sworn a little, instead of being told that it added to their "holiday hilarity." The book has a picturesque cover, some pretty illustrations, and is nicely printed.

Book Review date: 
Monday, March 1, 1897 to Sunday, August 1, 1897
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