The first two volumes of the new series recently announced by Harper & Brothers, a series that is to be comparable in scope to the American Nation series, already an essential item on every historical reference shelf, and in many private libraries as well. The new series is to be entitled, The Rise of Modern Europe, the general editor is William L. Langer of Harvard University. The purpose of the series is to present sound studies of important trends in the history of Europe -- social, economic, religious, intellectual, artistic and scientific. Each volume is a unit, standing on its own merit, but contributing to the larger plan. Twenty volumes are proposed, averaging 100,000 words in length, and fully illustrated. The material is presented with the layman in mind, but the concentration on a comparatively small unit of European history, limits the interest to the layman with distinct historical bent or specialized interest.