Observes that the 'greatest catastrophe that has been recorded for years is reported from Japan, where an earthquake followed by a tidal wave is said to have caused the death of 27,000 Japanese. Japan, however, is far away even in the days of the electronic telegraph, and the fate of these luckless ones has not attracted one-hundredth part of the attention that was excited by the loss of the SS Drummond CastleSS Drummond Castle CloseView the register entry >>, one of Sir Donald Currie'sCurrie, Sir Donald
ODNB CloseView the register entry >> African steamers' (14).
Review of Reviews, 14 (1896), 17–36.
Character Sketch. Dr. Barnardo: The Father of "Nobody's Children"
Regular Feature, Biography
Vitalism, Energy, Morality, Telegraphy, Religion, Experimental Psychology, Psychical Research
Remarks that as a medical student Thomas J BarnardoBarnardo, Thomas John
ODNB CloseView the register entry >> was 'a serious young man , about as unlike the typical Bob Sawyer [a character in The Pickwick PapersDickens, Charles John
Huffam 1837. The Posthumous Papers of the Pickwick Club, 2
vols, London: Chapman and Hall
CloseView the register entry >>] as it is possible to imagine. And yet perhaps not so unlike. For Bob suffered chiefly from an absurdly wasteful method of working off excess of vitality. There are French physicians who maintain that girls at certain periods in their development display a tendency which, if it is not diverted to mysticism or religion, will find satisfaction in vice; so there is some possibility that the two students, variously known as Sawyer and Barnardo, are both object-lessons as to the excess of energy, in one case operating to the waste of tissue by intemperate excessive indulgence, in the other to the waste of nervous energy by excessive sacrifice in using every moment for the helping of others. In both cases there is relief, but there is the difference: relief à la Sawyer is relief by suicide; relief à la Barnardo is relief by salvation' (18). Also comments that 'Strange though it may seem, [Barnardo] believes in God as a kind of Telephone Exchange of the universe, who graciously allows Himself to be rung up whenever any of His creatures need anything to carry on' (26). The 'Prayer Telephone [...] differs from the ordinary contrivance, inasmuch as the Central arranges for calls before it is rung up', and 'this theory of anticipatory telepathy [is] a phenomenon familiar enough to those who experiment in the obscure regions of the sub-conscious' (29).
Section: Leading Articles in the Reviews
Review of Reviews, 14 (1896), 38.
The Native Races of South Africa. By Olive Schreiner
Comments that 'Schreiner could hardly fail to be immensely attracted by the sympathy of her nature to the half-breed—that most forlorn and tragic of all results of the impact of race on race. We have long been familiar with the painful and perplexing problem that is presented by the existence of a large Eurasian population in India, and now we learn from this article that the same problem presents itself quite as conspicuously in South Africa' (48). Also notes that 'the half-caste supplies the vicious and criminal class to South Africa', and that 'most half-breeds are themselves the children of half-breeds, for this unfortunate race increases and multiplies with rapidity' (49).
Nationalism, National Efficiency, Government, Declinism, Industry, Artisans, Commerce, Statistics, Technology, Education, War, Analogy, Industrial Chemistry, Schools
Expresses the hope that, as with the campaign of the Pall Mall GazettePall Mall Gazette
CloseView the register entry >> in regard to the weakness of the Royal NavyRoyal Navy
CloseView the register entry >> in 1884, 'the publication of Mr. Williams'sWilliams, Ernest Edwin George
WBI CloseView the register entry >> exposition of the parlous state of British trade in its struggle with German competition will produce a [...] right-about-face' in the 'retrenchment' policy of the Conservative administration of Robert A T G Cecil (3rd Marquess of Salisbury)Cecil, Robert Arthur Talbot Gascoyne-, 3rd
Marquess of Salisbury
ODNB CloseView the register entry >> (74), and will perhaps even induce the adoption of policies that will enable 'the British artisan and manufacturer to hold their own in the life and death struggle which has begun with Germany' (75). After defeating the military power of France in 1870, the Germans 'set themselves as deliberately and as resolutely to challenge the industrial supremacy of Great Britain [...]. They have already won their Forbach and Worth in the industrial campaign, but they have as little notion of halting in their march as Von MoltkeMoltke, Helmuth Karl Bernhard Freiherr von
CBD CloseView the register entry >> had of stopping short of the walls of Paris' (77). Notes that 'Germany is overtaking us in iron and steel, and threatening us in textiles; but she is beating us hand over hand in chemicals. Our English chemists have for a long time past lived in Queer Street. Their German rivals are flourishing to the tune of dividends of 28 per cent'. In particular, their 'export of aniline to China and Japan has gone up threefold in the last five years, whilst our exports have steadily fallen. What makes it worse is that the aniline dyes were the discovery of an EnglishmanPerkin, William Henry
DSB CloseView the register entry >>, and at first the whole trade was in English hands'. (79) Although our 'practical men sneer at the professors who are so abundantly employed by their German rivals', there is 'no doubt' that the superiority of their scientific and technical education is 'the greatest of all the secrets of German success' (81). Indeed, while the 'British Hare, feeling secure' 'lay down and snoozed', the 'German Tortoise, finding that his own unaided natural powers were inadequate to give him even a show in the international competition, mounted himself upon the motor cycle of applied science, and, before long, was able to get up sufficient speed to render the issue of the race a foregone conclusion' (79).
Transport, Machinery, Technology, Railways, Agriculture, Government
Reports that the 'Light Railways Bill and the measure legalising the use of motor carriages on highways, both of which will be passed into law this month, are two measures which will probably have much greater influence upon the prosperity of our rural districts than the Agricultural Rating Bill' (109).
Responds to 'an unwelcome rumour that the oft defeated medical police are dreaming of utilising the ascendancy of the present [Conservative] Government to restore the C. D. Acts for the benefit of the Indian Army', by maintaining a stern opposition to 'the sacred cause of State-patronised prostitution' (199–200). Although George F HamiltonHamilton, Lord George Francis
ODNB CloseView the register entry >>, the Secretary of State for India, seeks 'by means of cooked statistics to prove that a sanitary millennium will be attained when Her Majesty provides one medically-certified native subject of hers and sisters of ours as the communal wife of each score or hundred soldiers maintained in India', he must come to recognize that '"No Thoroughfare" has been posted up once and for all by the British public across the road which they persist in trying to re-open'. Also reports that the 'zealots of sanitation who would immolate with indifference the principle of liberty and the obligations of morality for the off-chance of an infinitesimal improvement in the mortality returns, have just received a damaging blow from the reportFinal Report of the Royal
Commission on Vaccination: Final Report of the Royal Commission Appointed to
Inquire into the Subject of Vaccination, House of Commons Parliamentary
Papers, Session 1896 [C.8270], 47, 889–1115
CloseView the register entry >> of the Vaccination CommissionRoyal Commission on Vaccination
CloseView the register entry >>'. The fifteen members of the commission led by Farrer HerschellHerschell, Farrer, 1st Baron Herschell
ODNB CloseView the register entry >>, 'with never a woman among them, after the usual non-human custom in this country', have, while 'strongly affirming the advantages of vaccination, [...] unanimously condemn[ed] the present practice of sending to gaol parents who have conscientious objections to the vaccinations of their children, or even of subjecting them to fines for non-compliance with the Act'. Observes that the 'Jubilee reportReport of the Commissioners in
Lunacy: Fiftieth Annual Report of the Commissioners in Lunacy to the Lord
Chancellor, House of Commons Parliamentary Papers, Session 1896 (304), 39,
pt 1, 1–473
CloseView the register entry >> of the Commissioners of LunacyCommissioners in Lunacy
CloseView the register entry >> records an unprecedented increase in the numbers of officially certified lunatics', although noting that 'Of those not so certified—including, it is to be feared, no small proportion of the officials themselves—no record exists'. Objects that from 'these figures some misleading conclusions have been drawn. It is extremely doubtful whether lunacy is really increasing amongst us. What is increasing is the disposition on the part of poor people to send their insane relatives to an asylum', and this 'decay of irrational prejudice on the part of our poor' is surely an 'indication [...] of increasing sanity' in spite of the official statistics. (200) Also reports the heroic failure of the Arctic expedition of Fridtjof NansenNansen, Fridtjof
DSB CloseView the register entry >>, who 'has done better than any who preceded him. But the North Pole remains to this day undiscovered' (204). Describes the terrible heat wave currently afflicting the eastern half of the United States of America, the 'most trying and disastrous experience of a climatic sort with which the country has been visited in our generation' (206).
Suggests that the Chinese statesman Li Hong-ZhangLi Hong-Zhang
CBD CloseView the register entry >> has returned home after his tour of the West 'firmly determined to introduce railways into China without any waste of time'.
Review of Reviews, 14 (1896), 236.
The Motive Power of the Future; or, the Apotheosis of the Gas Engine
Gives encouragement to 'Mr. Ruddiman Johnston'sJohnston, Mr Ruddiman
RR1/14/3a/4 CloseView the register entry >> project of constructing a model of the world large enough to enable every one to appreciate the relative sizes printed in our atlases of different proportions'. The projected globe will be '84 ft. in diameter', giving 'an inch to every eight miles'.
Records the 'successful completion of the great engineering undertaking which has freed the Danube from its iron gates. A canal, five miles long, has been blasted out of the rocky bed of the river, rendering it possible for steamers to pass up and down with safety, where formerly the passage could only be made with the utmost difficulty and danger', and comments, 'What would it cost, I wonder, to have similar navigable canals through the cataracts of the Nile?' (293). Also notes that the Liverpool meeting of the British Association for the Advancement of ScienceBritish Association for the Advancement of Science
CloseView the register entry >> 'passed without notable or sensational incident. Sir Joseph ListerLister, Joseph, 1st Baron Lister
ODNB CloseView the register entry >>, the president, devoted his address, as was right and natural, to a sketch of the progress made in medicine and surgery by the discovery of antiseptics—a discovery with which his own name is honourably associated. Mr. Flinders PetriePetrie, Sir (William Matthew) Flinders
ODNB CloseView the register entry >> read a paradoxical paper maintaining that reading and writing, instead of being the great instruments of culture, were responsible for the crippling of the mind'. Also observes that 'the scientific picnic of the year has seldom yielded less amusement for the general public, and one feels more and more the lack of a lucid intelligible survey of the progress of scientific discovery in all fields. Science is so specialised and scientists tend to become such Brahmins that the ignorance of the average man seems likely to become denser the more minutely the field of knowledge is surveyed' (296).
Review of Reviews, 14 (1896), 299–306.
Character Sketch. Mrs. Josephine E. Butler
Regular Feature, Biography
Sex, Hygiene, Public Health, Morality, Government, Gender, Vivisection, Imperialism
Remarks that the 'whole essence of the C. D. Acts and of the State regulation of prostitution is based upon the belief that womanhood perishes with virginity, unless the marriage ceremony has been performed', and once we 'deny the human nature of any section of the community [...] the door is opened to every excess of cruelty. If they are not human we can crimp them as cod, boil them as lobsters, bleed them slowly to death like calves, vivisect them as guineapigs, or, worse still, we can place them under the control of the police surgeons of prison houses of ill-fame licensed and patronised by the State'. Indeed, one 'enthusiastic French doctor' has suggested that 'all fallen women should be examined surgically every morning, as a kind of family worship to the goddess Hygeia', even though the women 'detest this degrading ordeal'. (300) Also notes that George F HamiltonHamilton, Lord George Francis
ODNB CloseView the register entry >> is hoping to 'discover some ingenious method of circumventing the repeatedly declared will of the nation [...] against the application of the hated slave system to the women of India', and reminds the Secretary of State for India of the 'passionate abhorrence the whole iniquity excites in the heart of all that is noblest and best in English womanhood' (306).
Section: Leading Articles in the Reviews
Review of Reviews, 14 (1896), 320–21.
The Case for Unlimited Families. From a Jesuit Point of View
Records the 'alarm that has been created by the ever accumulating evidence of the national peril to which we are exposed by the growth of German and foreign competition', and warns that the 'hare that has gone to sleep while the tortoise is creeping past must wake up. John Bull has been caught napping. The nation must pull itself together, brace its energies, and forge ahead with renewed energy, or it will be left behind' (348). Insists that 'Ignorance is the domestic Turk against whom the popular forces must be turned', and urges reformers to 'concentrate their attention on the question of raising the school age, improving school machinery in the rural districts, and carrying out the recommendations of the CommissionRoyal Commission on Technical Instruction
CloseView the register entry >> on Technical or, as it ought to be called, Practical Education' (349).
Claims that women prisoners demonstrate all the same 'womanly trait[s]' exhibited by women outside of gaol, and suggests that the female prisoner's maternal instincts and 'love of personal decoration' give no cause whatever for 'belief in Professor Lombroso'sLombroso, Cesare
CBD CloseView the register entry >> theory of a special criminal type'.
In a review of the main events of the closing year, claims that the rinderpest has killed 'nine-tenths of the hoofed beasts, wild and tame, of the African Continent'. While cattle have been hit particularly badly by the 'subtle contagion', and 'out of 200,000 cattle in Rhodesia it has not left 15,000 alive', 'Nor were swift-footed antelope able to elude the swifter darts of the deadly archer. Three out of five species died like rotten sheep. The others, for some cause not yet discovered, seem to be immune'. (496). Notes that China has presented 'a spectacle of singular interest' in the present year. To 'our Western eyes that huge yellow ant-heap is almost as unknown as if its denizens were a colony of termites', but from 'the midst of that bewildering and multitudinous expanse of indistinguishable human cheese mites' has come Li Hong-ZhangLi Hong-Zhang
CBD CloseView the register entry >>, who has 'familiarised the West with the personality' of the Chinese mandarin. (499) Observes that it is only through 'the war of extermination which is waged endlessly between the carnivores and the creatures upon which they dine [...] naturalists tell us, that the gazelle maintains its swiftness and symmetry, while the moment the sharp edge of the struggle for existence is dulled, your graceful carrier pigeon develops into an unwieldy Dodo', and comments that there 'seems little prospect at present of evolution Dodowards in a world in which the population daily becomes thicker upon the ground. England for so long has been such an easy first in the field of industry and commerce, that John Bull has been somewhat surly when roused this year to recognise the fact that unless he pulls himself together, there is every likelihood that he will be beaten even in his own markets by the foreigner'. This evolutionary 'combat of nations in Europe has fortunately been confined to industrial warfare', although 'the gates of the Temple of Janus have been by no means shut'. (505) Records that in 'popular science' the year will be 'chiefly famous on account of the discovery of the X rays. Professor RöntgenRöntgen, Wilhelm Conrad
DSB CloseView the register entry >> may or may not have laid the foundation for a revolution in surgical practice, but he has certainly rendered yeoman service in familiarising the public mind with the idea which all previous teaching had failed to do, that there is no reason in the nature of things why we should not be able to see through opaque substances. The X ray has not merely revealed the bones of the hand, it has rendered thinkable to many persons much that has hitherto been regarded as the wild fantasies of occultists'. Also records that 'the removal of the legislative restrictions which have heretofore barred the introduction of motor carriages on public highways has encouraged expectations and stimulated invention, for the fruit of which we shall have to wait until 1897'. (508)
Section: Leading Articles in the Reviews
Review of Reviews, 14 (1896), 510–11.
A New Bible for the People; or, the Higher Criticism in Polychrome
Religious Authority, Christianity, Creationism, Geology
Book of GenesisBook of Genesis: The Book of Genesis: Critical
Edition of the Hebrew Text, Printed in Colors Exhibiting the Composite
Structure of the Book, ed. by Charles James Ball, Polychrome Bible 1,
Leipzig: J. C. Hinrichs; Baltimore: Johns Hopkins Press; London: D. Nutt,
CloseView the register entry >>
Describes Jagadischandra Bose'sBose, Sir Jagadischandra
DSB CloseView the register entry >> 'marvellous discovery' of 'invisible lights [that] penetrate earth, wood, pitch, brick, granite, and still retain their active properties. These electric waves have different angles of refraction for different bodies; and by discerning their reflective angle, we have a test of the genuineness of the substance through which they pass'. Comments that 'Such a discovery seems to come fitly from the East and the land of the Mahatmas'.
Review of Reviews, 14 (1896), 519–20.
The All-devouring Grave and Its Annual Bill of Fare
Remarks that 'In this strange world of ours, when men and beasts of all stages of development jostle each other in the field and in the market-place, endless sensations of wonder and surprise meet the naturalist or the observer of human affairs when the two extremes meet, and some monster which survives from the age when the Saurians disported themselves in primeval slime, is found to be the next-door neighbour of one of the latest and most marvellous products of evolution. It is somewhat of the same sensation that one receives in this month's NewReview, which contains within its covers two articles which, of all those that have appeared in the periodicals this year, most completely represent the two extremes of evolution in the sphere of morals'.
Sociology, Philosophy, Ancient Authorities, Natural History
Declares that for many 'the conclusion of Mr. Spencer'sSpencer, Herbert
DSB CloseView the register entry >> life-work will be the most important literary production of the year'. Indeed, his System of Synthetic Philosophy 'has left its mark on its century, and its influence will continue, to whatever degree the conclusions of the Philosophy are accepted in centuries to come, just as long as earnest, reverent, and adequately-equipped research have use and honour among us' (560).
Review of Reviews, 14 (1896), 562.
The Baby Exchange. To Be Discontinued
Announces the immediate cessation of the baby exchange system because of concerns over children who might be returned by their adoptive parents.