In one of a series of reprinted letters from eminent supporters of the Review of ReviewsReview of Reviews
Directory CloseView the register entry >>, Huxley counsels that the editor must 'secure the services of a body of intelligent and painstaking précis writers'. He warns, 'I am not quite sure that extracts are fair to authors' because 'passages without context often give a very wrong impression of the writer's meaning' (9).
Review of Reviews, 1 (1890), 15–20.
To All English-Speaking Folk
Imperialism, Darwinism, National Efficiency, Religion, Biblical Authority
Proclaims that in maintaining an English-speaking empire, 'Our supreme duty is the winnowing out by a process of natural selection [...] all those who possess within their hearts the sacred fire of patriotic devotion to their country' (17). This Carlylean cadre of leaders and the populations they rule will be 'bound together by a common faith' disseminated throughout the English-speaking world by the new Review of ReviewsReview of Reviews
Directory CloseView the register entry >>, which will be 'read as men used to read their Bibles [...] to discover the will of God and their duty to man' (20).
Benjamin's 'provoking' paper, a product of the 'scientific imagination', discusses future uses of electricity. These include distant photographs that appear on a 'sensitive plate in San Francisco', but 'photographically record the event taking place in New York', railway cars that employ 'a series of electro-magnetic coils' and can reach three hundred miles an hour (33), and 'a wall-paper [...] capable of being rendered luminous by electricity, and even sufficiently warm to heat a room!' (34). Notes that miraculous electrical feats such as the 'telegraphic transmission of fac-simile writing' have 'already been achieved' (33).
Among various philanthropic suggestions, millionaires 'interested in the ennobling study of astronomy' are advised that 'the progress made in astronomical instruments and appliances is so great and continuous, that every few years a new telescope might be judiciously given to one of the observatories upon this continent' (38–39). Also 'great sums can be worthily used' for the 'founding or extension of hospitals, medical colleges, laboratories, and other institutions connected with the alleviation of human suffering, and especially with the prevention rather than the cure of human ills'. Observes that their 'employment as nurses has enlarged the sphere and influence of women', and that this class of females might provide suitable wives for senators and physicians. (39)
Review of Reviews, 1 (1890), 47.
The Author of "Looking Backward". An Interview with Edward Bellamy
Edward BellamyBellamy, Edward
CBD CloseView the register entry >> describes his socialist plan for removing economic considerations from the mechanism of sexual selection: 'Under my system men will be chosen on their individual merit, and not because they can "support a wife"'.
Review of Reviews, 1 (1890), 48–49.
How the Exhibition Impressed Them. By M. Anatole Leroy-Beaulieu
An account of spiritual phenomena that remain 'inexplicable' even when tested 'ruthlessly' in accordance with 'the "scientific method"' (50). In one occurrence, the news of an aunt's death is conveyed via the spirit world before it is related by telegraphy, and a clear parallel is drawn between the two modes of communication.
Review of Reviews, 1 (1890), 51.
What I Believe and What I Don't. By Colonel Robert Ingersoll
Begins with an account of the 'Influenza Epidemic, which has been the great event of January'. The 'subtle microbe' originated in the putrefying flood waters of China, and its universal spread makes it clear that while the 'Chinese are, to most of us, hardly regarded as beings within the pale of humanity', they are in fact 'part of the common human family'. Statistics show that the mortality rate from the influenza epidemic is greater than that of all the recent colonial wars. (87) Notes that the 'shrinkage of the world under the potent influences of steam and electricity has undoubtedly facilitated the spread of epidemic disease' (88). Predicts the increasing electrification of state-owned public transportation systems, accompanied by a corresponding increase in administrative socialism (89–90). Warns that 'a strong annexationist movement in New Foundland' would threaten the British Empire because 'all the cables which link the Old World with the New' might be 'cut off' (95).
Review of Reviews, 1 (1890), 100–07.
Character Sketch: February. II.—Mr. Charles S. Parnell
Regular Feature, Biography
In discussing Charles S Parnell'sParnell, Charles Stewart
ODNB CloseView the register entry >> distinguished lineage, asserts that 'Mr. GaltonGalton, Sir Francis
ODNB CloseView the register entry >> may search far and wide without finding a more signal instance of heredity than the Irish chieftain' (100). Parnell brings to the stormy world of politics, a 'mind [...] essentially that of a civil engineer' and, as when 'an engineer is making a cutting', he 'is too intent upon his end to waste force in unnecessary emotion' (101).
Section: Leading Articles in the Reviews
Review of Reviews, 1 (1890), 111.
Do Dead Men Dream? A Contribution to the Science of Ghosts
A 'collection of well-authenticated ghost-stories' expounding the 'theory that apparitions are in reality the dreams of the dead men, and can be explained scientifically by the analogy of telepathy'. For Myers, 'a ghost is [...] a manifestation of persistent personal energy, or [...] a residue of the force or energy which the man generated while he was still alive'. At the end of his earthly life 'a man does not die altogether'. Rather, a 'certain shadowy semblance of himself lingers behind' and 'becomes visible to the eyes of mortals, as the slender filament of the incandescent lamp becomes luminous when the electricity is turned on'. Concludes that 'if Mr. Myers is right, we shall have to reconstruct the whole of our theory of personality'.
Review of Reviews, 1 (1890), 115–16.
The Future and What it Hides in it. A Scientific Prophecy by Professor Thurston
Among the scientific advances that the future holds are a highly evolved race of men 'having a god-like intelligence of countenance' (115), a distribution of electric power that will allow a return to home-working and the breakdown of 'the present factory system' with its 'great aggregations of capital in unscrupulous hands', submarine boats that will 'insure the peace of the world', and flying machines powered by electricity (116).
Charcot resists invoking a supernatural explanation for the enhanced capacities of hypnotic patients. His suggestion that 'it is possible for the mind to impress upon a blank sheet of paper a picture, visible only to the eye of the hypnotised person', if properly followed up, 'may lead us far' (117).
Review of Reviews, 1 (1890), 120.
The Genius of This Electric Age. Mr. Edison and His Ideas
Lathrop's interviews with Edison reveal details of his upbringing, working practices, and beliefs. His method of invention is to work at a theory 'till it is proved to be incorrect', and he is 'much given to dreaming' and constantly employs 'his scientific imagination'. In answer to a question on the reality of an intelligent creator, Edison replies, 'The existence of such a God can, to my mind, almost be proved from chemistry'.
Suggests that Dante AlighieriDante Alighieri
CBD CloseView the register entry >>, 'the first Christian prophet who has given us a revelation without the pretension of any miraculous intervention', may prove 'the missing link between belief resting on theological dogmas and a coherent social faith, of which science will be the handmaiden'. In this new reformed faith, 'Men of science' will be 'regarded as the best soldiers in the ranks of the truly religious'.
Review of Reviews, 1 (1890), 127.
A Dead Man's Diary. What I Felt at the Moment of Death
Anaesthesia, Medical Treatment, Experiment, Vivisection
The Hyderabad Chloroform Commission'sHyderabad Chloroform Commission
CloseView the register entry >> conclusion that 'chloroform may be given in any case requiring an operation with perfect ease and absolute safety' is 'so unexpected and so sweeping in condemnation of the hitherto accepted view' that an abstract of the report 'may be of interest outside of medical circles'.
Notes that Allen, 'the most indefatigable of all mags-men', has been spreading his journalistic talents too thinly. The only current article 'worthy of his reputation' propounds 'a hypothesis as to the way in which animals were evolved from plants'.
Review of Reviews, 1 (1890), 200.
Russia and England in Central Asia. A British Officer's Report
When hypnotised a subject's bodily powers are pacified allowing the more powerful Inner Self to reveal itself as a light 'called Odic force'. Because perception is always based upon sensation, the force vibrations produced by the Inner Self may become visible to people with 'abnormally sharpened senses'.
Review of Reviews, 1 (1890), 201.
A Defence of Universal Suffrage. By Senor Castelar
Analogy, Natural History, Natural Law, Human Species
In the natural world 'Equality is the general law, inequality the particular exception'. For example, 'When you know one insect you know all of its species'. This 'clever argumentative' article, although yielding the 'rational to the splendid', locates the question of equal suffrage within the 'one eternal harmony' of the universe.
Annotated list of books appropriate for a spiritualist's library. Notes that 'of some half dozen journals appearing regularly in all parts of the world to chronicle the phenomena and defend the doctrines of spiritualism [...] Light is the best'.
Review of Reviews, 1 (1890), 209.
Giordano Bruno and His Doctrines. His Trial Before the Inquisition
Many conflicting verdicts have been passed on Giordano BrunoBruno, Giordano
DSB CloseView the register entry >>, but for the nineteenth century 'when the growing bulk of rationalism casts a pessimistic shadow over so many hopes, it is encouraging to know that the rationalist Bruno saw no reason for despair'. Nevertheless, he is still regarded by the Vatican as 'devil-possessed' and if Popes were as influential as they were in Bruno's day 'they would have found reason enough to burn MillMill, John Stuart
DSB CloseView the register entry >> and DarwinDarwin, Charles Robert
DSB CloseView the register entry >>'.
Summary of John Macnie'sMacnie, John
RLIN CloseView the register entry >> utopian vision of the future, in which electricity has transformed almost every aspect of human life. This novel, as well as other utopian fictions, reveal how 'We are standing at the day-dawn of the Electric Age. The thunderbolt of Jove has become the most puissant of all the servants of man. It has annihilated time, abolished space, and it will yet unify the world' (230). In the ninety sixth century, photography and the phonograph are 'women's inventions' that are 'characteristically feminine in their purpose and application' allowing a woman to 'behold those distant scenes to which she had less free access than man—before marriage, at least' (238).
Barnum suggests that displaying the 'mummified corpse of Rameses II.' at the great exhibition of 1892 might induce 'this generation, proud of its scientific and mechanical triumph, to bear in mind that the art that embalmed the body of Rameses so perfectly is lost, with a great many others that were known to antiquity'.
Holmes insists that 'when the poet or the story-teller invades the province of the man of science, he is on dangerous grounds [...]. The imaginative writer is after effects. The scientific man is after truth. Science is decent, modest; does not try to startle, but to instruct. The same scenes and objects which outrage every sense of delicacy in the story-teller's highly-coloured paragraphs can be read without giving offence in the chaste language of the physiologist or physician [....] Leave the description of the drains and cesspools to the hygienic specialist, the painful facts of disease to the physician'.
Review of Reviews, 1 (1890), 304.
The Autobiography of a Mystic. A Seer Who has Seen Joan of Arc
Lombroso argues that 'man and human society are instinctively conservative' and all 'efforts in favour of progress which express themselves by too brusque and violent means are not in accordance with physiological law'.
Review of Reviews, 1 (1890), 305.
Why Should We Not Eat Horse Meat? By Mr. Lees Knowles, M.P.
Institutions, Medical Practitioners, Education, Professionalization, Progress
Proposal for sweeping reforms of the oligarchic Royal College of SurgeonsRoyal College of Surgeons
CloseView the register entry >> which reflects the 'great wave of professional opinion which is slowly but surely rising and gathering force to sweep away the rottenness of the constitution, the inertness, inefficiency, evil traditions, and scandalous abuses of all kinds, owing to which our medical corporations, instead of aiding, have seriously obstructed the course of scientific progress'.
As governor of the African Equatorial Province, Emin PashaEmin Pasha (originally Eduard Schnitzer)
CBD CloseView the register entry >> was an 'illustration of the scientist proconsul' who 'can never feel that politics are other than a disagreeable interruption of the much more important pursuits of beetle-catching and bird-collecting' (387). However, his writings on African natural history are as humourless and uninspiring as 'a catalogue of the natural history department at South Kensington', and he describes humans 'more as specimens than fellow creatures'. Nevertheless, he is 'more than a man who, as WordsworthWordsworth, William
ODNB CloseView the register entry >> bitterly said, "Would peep and botanize upon his mother's grave". He would do that, no doubt, and think that it was the best way of doing honour to his mother; but he would do more than that'. For instance, although he is a scientist 'he has within him a heart that occasionally finds expression even in protest against the scientific spirit'. (388)
Section: Leading Articles in the Reviews
Review of Reviews, 1 (1890), 393.
Count Mattei, the Cancer Curer. Lady Paget's Testimony
Disease, Medical Treatment, Homeopathy, Heterodoxy, Electricity, Medical Practitioners
Sympathetic account of Cesare Mattei'sMattei, Cesare
WBI CloseView the register entry >> system of medicine, based on 'globules and liquid electricity', which, the 'Italian nobleman' claims, can 'cure all the physical ills which flesh is heir to'. In order 'to anticipate numberless inquiries from those who will want to know all about the system', the author gives the London address of 'a qualified doctor who regularly prescribes the Count's medicines'.
Review of Reviews, 1 (1890), 396.
How to Reconcile Science with Genesis. By Mr. Gladstone
Begins by asserting that 'When our fathers were told that the sun could be made to turn artist they told the early photographist to carry such stories to the marines. Now when we are told that pictures can be made by notes of music we are equally incredulous'. Nevertheless, 'it is true' and in several 'delicate investigations into the nature of sound' the voice of a singer has produced 'most unexpected forms', such as 'Daisies, with every petal perfectly shaped', on an elastic 'membrane [...] covered with a semi-fluid paste' attached to a 'hollow receiver'. These are then 'photographed whilst the membrane is in sonorous vibration'.
Review of Reviews, 1 (1890), 400.
Is Civilization a Failure? "As the Case Stands Now, Yes"—Prof. Huxley
Notes that Huxley's 'notable expression of disbelief in the excellence of the natural laws of the struggle for existence, and the survival of the fittest, will probably do the anti-socialists more harm than all the damage done to the socialists by his swashing blow against regimentation'.
Review of Reviews, 1 (1890), 400.
The Humanity of the Small-Bore Rifle. By a German Professor
As the example of the Yorkshire CollegeYorkshire College, Leeds CloseView the register entry >> in Leeds shows, lantern slides are of enormous benefit to lectures in subjects such as 'Engineering, Dyeing, and the Textile Industries'. In particular, they can be used in lectures on biology that are 'illustrated by micro-photographs'. In fact, 'So convenient and successful has the plan proved that the microscope is rarely used for lecture illustrations, but is relegated to its proper place in the laboratory'.
Review of Reviews, 1 (1890), 408.
How to Get Rid of Rats. A Receipt That Killed 3,000 in a Night
Article on exterminating rats concludes with a humorous anecdote concerning a rat that was used to connect a lateral wire to the leading-line during repairs to the London telegraph system. At the end this 'latest addition to the staff of the Post Office [....] was set free in recognition of the service it had rendered'.
Review of Reviews, 1 (1890), 409.
Is the Sun Cold? Yes, and Inhabited. By S. M. Allan
Notes somewhat sceptically that Allan 'signs himself A.M., LL.B., F.R.H.S.'. The 'old theory of a fiery sun' is contradicted by Allan's 'newly discovered law of "actien"', according to which the sun throws off a cold 'imponderable fluid' which produces heat only by 'its conflict with ether'. This cool sun, moreover, is 'an inhabited globe with an atmosphere'. Allan also holds that 'the conflict between actien and ether results in the generation of atomic and molecular substance, which fly off into space, where they float until, driven by attraction, they resolve into a body which revolves upon its axis. The body then begins to grow'. In this manner the 'earth was formed and concentrated under great pressure, an atmosphere was created for it by the aqueous vapours as a necessary result'. According to Allan, the article concludes, 'we have the key to creation in our hands'.
Review of Reviews, 1 (1890), 413.
How Women are Worked to Death. The Long Hours of Nurses and Barmaids
Controversy, Christianity, Evolution, Animal Development, Nomenclature, Design, Species
Précis of a theological tome which has 'stirred the waters of religious controversy' (435) by 're-interpreting Christianity in the light of evolution' (436). Although evolution is 'the keynote of the book [...] the idea is generally draped by the less pronounced and, to many ears, less objectionable word development' (437). John R Illingworth'sIllingworth, John Richardson
WBI CloseView the register entry >> contribution to the book seeks to show that instead of being in conflict, 'theology and science move in two different but parallel planes'. The 'idea of design in nature', moreover, has not 'been exploded by the doctrine of evolution [...] it has only been more loftily and certainly re-affirmed'. For Illingworth 'modern evolution is not the re-assertion of the Heraclitean flux. Species once developed are, in proportion to their versatility, persistent'. (439)
Hypnotism, which is in fact 'but mesmerism under a scientific alias', is of 'all the coming sciences the most marvellous and most uncanny'. This 'novel system of experimentalising upon the body and mind of man', however, is 'quite the most terrible revelation which has ever been afforded us of the power which one man may exert over his fellow creatures'. It 'suggests limitless possibilities as to the disintegration of personality', 'makes credible all the old stories of diabolical possession', and under its influence a man 'ceases to be a man, and becomes a machine'.
Review of Reviews, 1 (1890), 493.
Women as Archæologists. A German Tribute to English Women
Comments that the success of female archaeologists 'protects the science from the charge of being an occupation unsuited for the sex to enter. What they have done should be an incentive for others to try their strength'.
Review of Reviews, 1 (1890), 496.
Is Human Nature Improving? Yes, and Thus Wise. By Miss Cobbe
Cobbe advises that we should 'surely thank God and take courage, believing that in the order of His providence the "ape and tiger" are really, however slowly, dying out of human nature, while love and sympathy become stronger as the generations pass away'.
Review of Reviews, 1 (1890), 500.
Some Reminiscences of the Past. By Lady Duff Gordon's Daughter
Recalls that 'One day Mr. BabbageBabbage, Charles
DSB CloseView the register entry >> took her to see his calculating machine, and as she could never do sums, she immediately asked him to give it her. Mr. Babbage had a wonderful automaton—a lady made of silver, which he called his wife, who moved her arms in a graceful but weird fashion' (500).
Review of Reviews, 1 (1890), 500.
Count Mattei, the Cancer Curer
Disease, Medical Treatment, Heterodoxy, Medical Practitioners, Hospitals
Remarks on the deluge of 'letters from all parts of the world on account of the article' on the Mattei system in the previous number [Anon, 'Count Mattei, the Cancer Curer. Lady Paget's Testimony', Review of Reviews, 1 (1890), 393]. Also reports the 'unprecedented success which the Mattei system has achieved in the curing of leprosy' in India, and the decision to establish a cancer ward for poor patients who can be treated on the Mattei system, and so put in the way of curing themselves'.
Review of Reviews, 1 (1890), 511.
A False Prophet of Coming Ill. Mr. Grant Allen's Vision of the Future
Breeding, Human Species, Eugenics, Morality, Gender, Anti-Scientism
Critical account of Allen's call for educated women to 'repudiate monogamy and deliberately seek to have as wide and varied a selection of fathers for their children as possible'. In this view, the 'ideal of motherhood' becomes 'indistinguishable from promiscuous but limited adultery' and threatens to undermine the code of morality which is 'common to humanity so far as mankind has emerged from the level of the savage'. Also describes Allen as 'a biologist who looks at the human race from the point of view of the stud-groom', and notes that 'the scientific instinct [...] looks upon human beings as the farmer regards his brood sows and prize boars'.
Allen begins by disputing William T Stead'sStead, William Thomas
ODNB CloseView the register entry >> contention that the Review of Reviews Review of Reviews
Directory CloseView the register entry >>should regularly print 'a couple of pages of summary' of the latest scientific thought. He asserts that the 'Editor says science has made itself into a Brahmin caste, which holds aloof from the people. Perhaps so; but as the people will not hear, how is that to be remedied?'. (537) Science, he insists, cannot be explained 'off-hand in so short a space to the general public' and no real knowledge can be gained by 'glancing over a page or two of criticism in a general review'. This, he admits, will 'be heresy to the editor'. (538) Allen nevertheless gives a two-page summary of 'the question that now most profoundly agitates the breast [...] of the biologists': the nature of heredity. He expounds the theory of the inheritance of acquired characteristics held by 'the older evolutionists' who proposed that 'function largely preceded and determined structure'. Even Charles R DarwinDarwin, Charles Robert
DSB CloseView the register entry >>, he notes, 'grew gradually in his later years to recognise more and more the importance of this additional factor in evolution'. (537) More recently, however, August F L Weismann'sWeismann, August Friedrich Leopold
DSB CloseView the register entry >> experimental work on germ-plasm has suggested that 'there can be no inheritance of acquired faculties'. Weismann's view, moreover, 'has been enthusiastically accepted in England by the younger Darwinian school'. At the same time though, this hypothesis cannot account for 'the origin of Mind, which has hitherto always been explained by evolutionists as a result of inheritance of accumulated habits', and 'a reaction has set in' against it among many eminent biologists . The 'present state of the biological world', he concludes, is 'divided into an ultra-Darwinian or Weismannesque faction on the one side, and a partly Lamarckian or Spencerian body on the other'. (538)