Russel Wallace : Alfred Russell Wallace (sic)
Plane Geometrical Drawing" (S354: 1882)
The Art Master at Marlborough College has gathered together in this book 300 problems, chiefly from papers set at the examinations for entrance to the military colleges. He gives fully worked out solutions to two-thirds of the questions, leaving the student to exercise himself unaided with the remainder. The figures embodying the solutions seem to have been very carefully prepared, and are clearly printed, and each plate is furnished with a blank fly-leaf, making reference easy.
A fair knowledge of geometry is assumed, but to certain of the questions notes are appended on special points as they arise, such as might not have been dealt with in the text-book or course that the student has worked through. These notes are very good, and not too long; the author's experience enabling him to anticipate difficulties and to give warning against pitfalls. Especially is the attention of the student drawn to constructions which, though they do not involve much head knowledge, yet require great care to ensure accuracy, and are thus severe tests of neatness and power in the use of instruments. In view of the growing importance of graphical methods of obtaining numerical results, the acquisition of this sort of hand-skill is becoming every day more desirable.
This book will be a welcome addition to the appliances of all teachers of the subject, for it will help to fill a wide gap; still the author might have made it more generally useful by a more judicious arrangement of his materials. The current text-book resembles treatises on arithmetic with very few examples: this volume furnishes an admirable collection of miscellaneous examples, but they are neither graduated nor classified; and they are too numerous for use by ordinary students after going through a systematic course of instruction in the subject. Teachers will know how to use the materials here provided whilst developing the subject, but their labour would be lightened, and the book made more serviceable for private students, by a classified table of contents or index to the problems.
A. R. W.