Explains that in his works of science fiction Herbert G Wells'sWells, Herbert George
ODNB CloseView the register entry >> 'method is calmly to impose just as much pure invention into the picturesque side of research as it will bear without transcending the region of the apparently possible' (90).
Pleads that all possible steps must be taken to avoid 'a fratricidal war between one hundred millions of English-speaking folk' on the two sides of the Atlantic (99), and warns that the 'shrinkage of the world beneath the potent hands of Electricity and Steam [...] render friction at many points inevitable in a constantly increasing ratio' (100).
Review of Reviews, 13 (1896), 102–13.
The Progress of the World
Regular Feature, Editorial, News-Commentary
Imperialism, Disease, Sanitation
Reports the successful completion of the British expedition to Coomassie in West Africa, but advises that it 'would be well if Mr. ChamberlainChamberlain, Joseph ('Joe')
ODNB CloseView the register entry >> could devise some method of overcoming the malaria of the West Coast as expeditiously as he has overwhelmed the opposition of King PrempehPrempeh, King of Ashanti
CBD CloseView the register entry >>. Every precaution was taken to guard the expedition against the attack of fever, but, notwithstanding the employment of all the resources of modern sanitary science, the fell disease smote more than one member of the expedition' (112).
Section: Leading Articles in the Reviews
Review of Reviews, 13 (1896), 144–48.
The Anglo-American Household. Some Notes of Family Jars, Past and Present
Denies the charge made in the article that 'Canada, backed by England, is responsible for the extirpation of the seal in [the] Behring Sea', and instead insists that 'Nothing more opposed to our interest could hardly be imagined, for out of 142,000 seal skins taken, 138,000 are made up in London' (148).
Explains the 'fascinating [...] and extraordinary way in which musical notes make geometrical and other pictures', and directs readers interested in this 'astonishing [...] modus operandi' to a 'fully illustrated paper-covered volumeHughes, Mrs
Watts . Voice Figures, London: Hazell, Watson, and
CloseView the register entry >>' by Mrs Hughes.
Transport, Machinery, Gender, Health, Obstetrics, Fear
Recommends 'the upright posture as against the curved or bent, as hygienically and medically the best', and dismisses fears that 'the enlargement of muscle consequent on cycling might take place where it would aggravate the ordeal of maternity'.
The brief introduction states that a 'scientific friend of mine has written at my request the following description' of the 'scientific sensation of the month': the 'final establishment [...] that it is possible to photograph objects without exposing the sensitive plate to the light'. Describes how 'a peculiar kind' of the cathode rays first produced by Phillip LenardLenard, Philipp
DSB CloseView the register entry >> has been used by Wilhelm C RöntgenRöntgen, Wilhelm Conrad
DSB CloseView the register entry >> to create 'shadow photographs' of objects such as coins that were at the time obscured by 'a volume of a thousand pages, [...] a pack of playing cards, an inch of fir plank or of vulcanised rubber, and—much less easily—through glass'. (175) These 'X-rays, as he designates them', have been used by Röntgen to discern 'internal flaws in metals', and, in addition, 'a Vienna surgeonExner, Siegmund
RLIN CloseView the register entry >> has located a grain of shot in a hand, and has successfully examined a fractured bone in a foot' (175–76). Insists, however, that although the 'discovery will undoubtedly lend itself to the most fruitful and wide application', its 'theoretical bearing is far more important' (176).
Anglo-American Reunion. International Response to the Appeal for Arbitration
War, Internationalism, Scientific Practitioners, Astronomy
Reprints several letters from well-known supporters of the attempts at arbitration to prevent a war between Britain and America, including one from J Norman LockyerLockyer, Sir Joseph Norman
ODNB CloseView the register entry >> who states that 'All Englishmen of Science, especially of Astronomical Science, are united by the closest ties of sympathy with their more than cousins across the Atlantic. We have the same aims, and we work together. I have the honour of including among my friends on the other side such earnest workers as LangleyLangley, Samuel Pierpont
DSB CloseView the register entry >>, HoldenHolden, Edward Singleton
WBI CloseView the register entry >>, YoungYoung, Charles Augustus
DSB CloseView the register entry >> and many others I might name, and I am certain they feel as I do that war is unthinkable as between two members of the same family' (262).
Human Development, Psychology, Disability, Disease
Asserts that 'Nothing more important or more interesting to the ordinary reader has been published in the way of science for many months' than James Sully'sSully, James
ODNB CloseView the register entry >> 'reasoned plea for the closer and more intelligent study of child-psychology. Addressed more particularly to parents and young teachers, its language is never unduly scientific [...]. Here certainly is a book which it behoves every parent to read, and not to read lightly' (279).
Notes that the passing of the Diseases of Animals Bill means that 'Foreign beef and mutton henceforth are not to enter Britain on four legs', which is a considerable 'gain to the cause of humanity' because it will put an end to 'the hideous horrors of the cattle-ships'. Observes, however, that the legislation will be 'naturally resented by the exporters across the Atlantic', and suggests that 'Some day, when it is possible to hypnotise cattle and sheep into insensibility for a fortnight, the prohibition may be reconsidered'. (298)
Traces the history and describes the current organisation of the five separate academies that make up the Institut National des Sciences et des ArtsInstitut National des Sciences et des Arts, Paris CloseView the register entry >>, noting that during the revolutionary era of the 1790s it was recognised that the old royal 'Academy of ScienceAcadémie des Sciences, Paris CloseView the register entry >> had rendered good services to the Revolution with regard to "l'argenterie des églises supprimées, et la production du saltpêtre", etc.', although the revolutionary Convention was nevertheless still bent on 'reducing the Academies to free societies' (356).
Exclaims that 'No one admires the peculiar genius of Mr. WellsWells, Herbert George
ODNB CloseView the register entry >> more than I. He is a born psychic, with a marvellous gift of realistically rendering his psychic experiences'. Warns, however, that 'the frontispiece alone of his new story is enough to keep it out of circulation. The law against sex intercourse with animals may be, and is, unduly severe, but it is an offence against humanity to represent the result of the intermingling of man and beast. In Mr. Wells's story the hybrid monsters are not begotten: they are represented as the possible outcome of vivisectional experiment. But the result in the picture is exactly that which would follow as the result of the engendering of human and animal. It is loathsome' (374).
Reports that the 'rinderpest, which is sweeping its deadly way through the herds of the dominions, is necessitating stringent measures of pole-axe isolation' (387), and observes that 'the cattle disease will prove a far more miserable curse to South Africa then either the despotism of the Boers, the impatience of Dr. JamesonJameson, Sir Leander Starr, 1st Baronet
ODNB CloseView the register entry >>, or the rebellion of the Matabele'. It has already necessitated the imposition of 'a strict quarantine blockade' along the frontier of the Transvaal. (388)
Discusses the alarming number of exploding oil-lamps, and notes that there is 'a good man in Newcastle who has invented a powder, which he maintains will render the oil absolutely non-explosive. He sent me the powder a long time ago to be tested, but I have not yet had time to attend to it. It would be interesting to know how far inventors have succeeded in rendering this useful illuminant free from danger'.
Review of Reviews, 13 (1896), 421.
"Wickedness is Man's Best Strength". A Blast Against the Monstrous Regimen of Virtue
Claims that Friedrich W NietzscheNietzsche, Friedrich Wilhelm
CBD CloseView the register entry >> 'bases his argument against altruism on biology. He treats it as an attempt to fly in the face of natural selection'. Insists, however, that this 'sort of "reasoning" leads to where Nietzsche has himself arrived—to the madhouse', and notes the 'paradox that this truculent champion of egoism is now entirely dependent on the altruistic care of the community'.
Transport, Machinery, Technology, Industry, Political Economy, Bacteriology, Electricity, Sanitation, Magic
Remarks on the revival of economic confidence in the City of London, noting that the 'cycle industry has at last been firmly established on the Stock ExchangeStock Exchange
CloseView the register entry >>, and if ParliamentHouses of Parliament
CloseView the register entry >> will but pass the Bill authorising the use of horseless carriages, there would be another great stimulus given to a form of enterprise, that could hardly fail to give new life to many a district which by the growth of great towns and great railways are left stranded high and dry' (485–86). Also reports that in 'the ceaseless battle which mankind wages with the invisible bacteria that are now held responsible for all manner of diseases, it would seem that electricity is destined to give the victory to man. By passing a current of electricity through sea-water, or through any water to which salt has been added, it is possible to destroy the bacteria which swarm sometimes to the extent of 10,000,000 per cubic centimetre. An experimental plant has been put up at Maidenhead, where the Maidenhead sewage has been treated with extraordinary results. If electrozone—for such is the name of the electrified sea-water—really accomplishes all that is planned for it, all existing disinfectants, from carbolic acid downwards, will vanish into limbo, and our cities will find the difficulty of dealing with their sewage vanished as by a stroke of a magician's wand' (486–87).
Review of Reviews, 13 (1896), 491–507.
Character Sketch. M. Émile Zola, Author of "Rome"
Regular Feature, Biography
Asserts that Émile ZolaZola, Èmile
CBD CloseView the register entry >> is 'the great prophet-priest' of the doctrine of heredity, which views man as being 'overwhelmed by monsters, which issue from the immensity of the past in order to reduce to impotent despair the generation of the present'. In all his novels, and the "Rougon-Macquart" series in particular, Zola describes the 'same appalling tragedy' of individuals and families 'throttled by the ever-constricting folds of what may be described as the antenatal influences of heredity and suggestion, reinforced enormously by the not less potent forces of environment and tradition'. (491) Notes that Zola 'prepared for his great work [i.e. the "Rougon-Macquart" novels] by reading up the question of heredity, finding [...] Doctor Lewis'sLewis, John Benjamin
RLIN CloseView the register entry >> work on the law of natural heredity particularly useful'. At this time the 'doctrine was much talked about and little understood', and Zola's 'theory was that if men knew how to master the influence of heredity, they would become rulers of the destiny of the human race'. (498) Comments that 'No one more than he has dwelt upon the terrible living power of heredity, the resurrection of the dead of yesterday in the men of to-day', but Zola's deterministic conclusions are 'not good news for the toil-worn, sin-laden, pain-scourged children of men' (507).