explanation hardly seems either sufficient or satisfactory. The fact that nearly thirty per cent of the Welsh electorate now votes Labour makes it difficult to believe that Wales would not have accepted the Nationalist position in 1906 on the call of its most brilliant leader. Mr. Lloyd George could, had he pleased, have crushed the resistance of the Welsh M.P.'s as easily as Parnell dealt with the Irish recalcitrants. The truth is that in 1904, Mr. Lloyd George finally determined to identify himself and, as far as he could, his country with official Liberalism. Few men, placed as he was, could have resisted the brilliant role that the future now opened for him. Yet it would be gross injustice to say that he abandoned Welsh Home Rule at the call of selfish ambition. No one who knew him in his early Parliamentary days can doubt his passionate desire to soften the hard lot of the poor whose sufferings he knew so well. To him, Welsh Home Rule was always a means to Socialistic ends, such as the nationalisation of railways or land in Wales. It was to help the poor that Mr. Lloyd George abandoned Nationalism. Now the hard fact must be faced that Nationalism is a very jealous mistress. From the politician who adopts her, she demands all, and his all Mr. Lloyd George could not give. So finally he abandoned the hope of a place in history with Llewelyn and Glyndwr, and became instead a great English reforming statesman of a very modern and distinctly party type, the pioneer of social reform on bureaucratic lines. The story of his hero at the Board of Trade and the Exchequer, Mr. Edwards tells in a fascinating way. The duel with Chamberlain, the business-like reforms at the Board of Trade, the great Chancellorship with its budget of social reform, its message of hope to the hopeless, the fiery crusade against the Peers, with its passionate attack on Lord Rothschild, the oratory of Limehouse, the victory of democracy, and the attempt by the Insurance Act to guard the homes of the poor against the terrors of unem- ployment and disease,-all these are brought before our eyes again in brilliant and sympathetic pictures. These glorious and successful years have written Mr. George's name in the pages of English history, and even if he had died before the war opened, would have assured him of posthumous renown. But will posterity be content to accept the picture, which Mr. Edwards draws as a true presentation of the facts. According to Mr. Edwards the facts are clear enough. On one side is the peer and the plutocrat, on the other, the dispossessed proletariat. The question at issue is a simple one,shall the rich out of their abundance guarantee the poor an easier and less embarrassed life ? It is probable that the historian of the future will not treat the question as such a simple matter. He will of course realise that the capitalist system, the system which has robbed the majority of the inhabitants of Britain of any real share in land or capital, was at the commencement of the twentieth century breaking up. The attempts of men like Lord Roseberry and Lord Rothschild to defend a system which doomed the majority of the nation to poverty and wretchedness, he will dismiss as the ravings of infatuated reactionaries. But to the graver question whether the lines of social reconstruction on which Mr. George attempted to solve the problem of the dispossesed proletariat were wise and statesmanlike, it will be difficult to forecast his answer. The fundamental fact at the bottom of the social unrest in Britain is that an enormous proportion of the population possess no property, and is for practical purposes the wage slave of the capitalist. The obvious remedy would be to alter the laws which have made possible the accumulation of land and capital in a few hands and to transform, if possible, the capitalistic into the distributive state. But this was not the course which Mr. George chose to follow. He struggled in a clever way to reconcile Socialism and Capitalism. For his financial system great fortunes were necessary. He took his toll of them and proposed to spend it in relieving the proletariat of the horrors that await it in the hour of sickness and old age but his plans depended on the existence of great fortunes, and if ever they disappear the financial basis of his scheme disappear with them. Moreover, if the proletariat were to be guaranteed against want and sickness, discipline was necessary, and Mr. Lloyd George was faced to call in the aid of the bureaucrat. And this was done on German lines. Indeed, under Mr. George bureaucracy has grown in power so as to seriously threaten British liberties. Mr. Edwards does not mention that while a stalwart democrat, Mr. Lansbury, opposed the Insurance Act, it had the warm support of some Tory capitalists. Nor must the effect on Mr. George's own mental development of this policy of regimentation and bureaucracy be underrated. He is to-day the close friend of a Prussian minded bureaucrat like Lord Milner, he is estranged from historical lovers of British freedom like Mr. Belloc and Mr. Llewelyn Williams. But, after all, in judging a man's character, it is the heart not the head that is of first importance. Those who view with anxiety Mr. George's social policy should be the first to grant that it has been inspired by high motives, and that it has for the moment brought relief and comfort to the homes of the poor. In his last chapter, Mr. Edwards carries Mr. George's career through the stormy days of the first years of the war to his elevation to the Premiership. The chapter is hardly on a level with the rest of the book, which should have ended with the July of 1914. I have in any case no space left to criticise it. Let me again say in conclusion that the book has its limitations, but it is a book to read and to keep.