Notes that the late 'Alfred NobelNobel, Alfred Bernhard
DSB CloseView the register entry >>, the Swede, whose name is familiar wherever dynamite is used as the Thor Hammer of Modern Industry' has bequeathed some £2,000,000 'for the purpose of encouraging scientific study, medical discovery, and the promotion of international peace'. The interest annually accruing from this sum (around £60,000) will be split into 'five portions, to be awarded in prizes for the most important discoveries' in physics, chemistry, and physiology or medicine, as well as for the promotion of peace, and will, in Nobel's opinion, be 'the very best mode of stimulating the intellect and energy of mankind in regions where the ordinary incentives fail'. (2)
In arguing for the superiority of constitutional monarchy over republicanism, claims that 'when we have to do with many millions, scattered over many continents, it is impossible to make any impression on the general mind by the fleeting phantoms of evanescent Ministries. To borrow an illustration from photography, their exposure is not long enough. The plate is not sensitive enough for rapid photography. But the immobility, the massive grandeur, and the fierce light that beats around the Throne, all facilitate the production of a clear, well-defined image on the mind of our kin beyond the sea' (30).
Reports that 'the latest device of modern scientific philanthropy, consists of something like a small hen-coop' in which a new-born baby is 'kept at uniform temperature by a spiral pipe through which a current of warm water is continually run'. This 'system of baby-hatching was invented by Dr. Alexander LionLion, Alexandre
Smith 1896 CloseView the register entry >>, of Nice' in 1891, and the patented device, which is used across France, has now begun to be used in London.
Observes that 'the military medico-police intend to make another attempt to establish prostitution as a branch of the Imperial service in India', and warns George F HamiltonHamilton, Lord George Francis
ODNB CloseView the register entry >>, the Secretary of State for India, that the 'Record year of the Queen must not be defiled by any of this purulent matter' (112).
Transport, Machinery, Mental Illness, Medical Practitioners, Specialization, Nomenclature, Neurology
Claims that 'we are about to witness the evolution of a new class of specialists corresponding to the mad doctors who were so well known under the Lunacy Acts. For want of a better title we may call them cyclo-mad doctors, and just as we know a mad doctor is always ready to discover signs of incipient lunacy in the simplest departure from regular routine, so the cyclo-mad doctor is disposed to discover symptoms of the new disease—which again, for want of a better name, we may christen Cyclomania Morbus—in every headache of which a rider may complain'. Also recounts 'discussing the question of different kinds of amusements as brain rests with Mr. Grant AllenAllen, Grant (Charles Grant Blairfindie)
ODNB CloseView the register entry >>', who proposed that 'cycling was only useful from that point of view so long as the cyclist had not perfect management of his machine' because 'to secure a brain worker brain rest the great desideratum is to set up in the mind an attitude of constant expectancy which prevents thoughts reverting to the old rut. Hence the advantage of salmon fishing as a rest for overworked brain students'. Points out, however, that Allen's position seems to entail that in order to 'set up such an attitude of expectancy, nothing can be easier than to try to cycle without your hands on the handle-bar and your eyes shut'.
Comments on the 'Nansen boom' of the last month, and notes that it is 'many years since any publisher has reaped as golden a harvest as Messrs. ConstableArchibald Constable and Co., firm CloseView the register entry >>' have with Fridtjof Nansen'sNansen, Fridtjof
DSB CloseView the register entry >> latest book, for which, rumour has it, the publishers paid him £10,000 (276). Although Nansen's Arctic explorations have succeeded in establishing a fact 'possessing immense scientific importance [...] viz., the existence of a deep western current flowing from the north of Siberia to the East of Greenland', it is 'not one that appeals to the popular imagination'. Rather, what has stirred interest beyond that of the 'Arctic expert' in Nansen's account of his voyage is its 'record of the combat of Man with Nature in her sternest moods [...] the great unchained, untamed forces of savage nature' (277). Indeed, the brilliant cricketer 'Prince RanjitsinhjiNawanagar, Maharaja Shri
Ranjitsinhji Vibhaji, maharaja jam saheb of
ODNB CloseView the register entry >>, probably, was the most popular man last year with the masses of the people, for the same reason that Nansen is popular this year [...] they both represent men who have pitted their strength and skill against great odds and have come off triumphant' (279). Recounts how Nansen determined to test a hypothesis developed in the 1880s that items from a ship wrecked in northern Siberia had 'drifted on a floe across the polar sea' and reached the south-west coast of Greenland, and, by building a steam-ship 'strong enough to be wedged into the ice that drifted westward', was able to demonstrate that in the current lay 'the route to the North Pole ready to hand' (282). As well as verifying the existence of 'a steady current that can be relied upon for transport purposes', Nansen's expedition has also 'finally exploded one of the favourite delusions of Arctic authorities' by proving that, rather than being 'shallow and extremely cold throughout', the Arctic Ocean in fact 'contains the respectable depth of two thousand odd fathoms, and [...] is much warmer than any one had any idea of' (285).
Photography, Technology, Statistics, Disease, Sex, Hygiene, Public Health, Morality, Imperialism, Medical Practitioners, Gender
Reports the eagerly anticipated 'prize fight for the Championship of the ring' which was fought in Nevada between Robert FitzsimmonsFitzsimmons, Robert
ODNB CloseView the register entry >> and James J CorbettCorbett, James John
WBI CloseView the register entry >>. The fight 'lasted nearly an hour, and as every phase of it was photographed for reproduction on the kinetoscope, we may expect to see the latest resources of photographic science employed in familiarising every man and boy in the English-speaking world with every detail of the fourteen rounds' (314). Also disputes the statistical claims made concerning the prevalence of syphilis in the British ArmyArmy
CloseView the register entry >> in India ('522 per 1,000'), and warns again that the 'advocates for licensing prostitution have been ill-advised in selecting this year for raising the question' (see Anon, 'The Progress of the World', Review of Reviews, 15 (1897), 103–12). Accepts, however, that no one can have 'any objection whatever to doing everything that can be properly done to lessen the ravages of any disease, no matter what its origin', and insists that 'no one would object [...] if the unfortunate female camp-followers of British regiments could be treated by female medical officers whenever they fall ill'. Providing 'facilities for healing the sick', though, is very different to 'creating an institution for recognising and virtually establishing the vice which is the direct cause of the disease in question'. (315)
Asserts that 'the Prince-ConsortAlbert [Prince Albert of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha],
prince consort, consort of Queen Victoria
ODNB CloseView the register entry >> was a German rationalist, devout, no doubt, but with absolutely no room in his brain for the notions to which Anglican clerics attach supreme importance'. Indeed, the 'Prince-Consort, and therefore the QueenVictoria, Queen of the United Kingdom of Great
Britain and Ireland, and Empress of India
ODNB CloseView the register entry >>, was prepared to welcome the rationalist reformation' of the early nineteenth century, and in private letters he 'praises also Combe'sCombe, George
ODNB CloseView the register entry >> excellent pamphlet on educationCombe, George
1835. Lectures on Popular Education: Delivered to the Edinburgh
Philosophical Association in April and November 1833, Edinburgh: Maclachlan
CloseView the register entry >>, in which he defines the real mission of science and education'. (326) Notes that while the Queen gives her patronage to associations such as the Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to ChildrenSociety for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children
CloseView the register entry >> which 'accord with the unanimous sentiment of all her subjects', she is 'by her position precluded' from 'commanding in person those adventurous associations of pioneers' with whom she might otherwise sympathise (332). On 'the cause of medical women', for instance, 'there can be little doubt as to the side on which the Queen must naturally stand, if only from her keen sympathy with the women of India' (331). Also insists that the widowed monarch 'not only believes but knows the truth of the doctrine of Spirit return', although no one would wish her to 'scandalise the prejudices of her subjects by becoming, let us say, a patron of the Spiritualist AllianceLondon Spiritualist Alliance
CloseView the register entry >>' (331–32).
Section: Leading Articles in the Reviews
Review of Reviews, 15 (1897), 347.
Why the Germans are Beating Us. The Testimony of Sir Philip Magnus
Although the 'novelty of the RöntgenRöntgen, Wilhelm Conrad
DSB CloseView the register entry >> rays has hardly worn off', the public is now 'confronted with a much more startling development of the electronic miracle', and 'one which brings the science of the Materialist very close indeed to the speculations of the Borderlanders'. The 'young Anglo-Italian' Guglielmo MarconiMarconi, Guglielmo
DSB CloseView the register entry >> has been able to generate electromagnetic waves which far surpass the transmission distance achieved by HertzHertz, Heinrich Rudolf
DSB CloseView the register entry >> rays, and, in the opinion of William H PreecePreece, Sir William Henry
ODNB CloseView the register entry >>, we are now 'on the verge of a discovery which will enable any one to telegraph anywhere without the aid of wires, posts, and cables'. The potential of wireless telegraphy is indeed 'a lively look out for the cable companies'. Marconi's electric rays can also be used to detonate explosives from a distance, and this 'evolution of science should practically abolish gunpowder by rendering its use impossible' because 'its presence would be a much greater danger to the army that carried it than to the enemy against whom it would be used'.
Telegraphy, Sex, Hygiene, Public Health, Morality, Medical Practitioners, Gender, Imperialism, Hunting, Natural Imperialism, Extinction
Reports that in the General Post OfficeGeneral Post Office
CloseView the register entry >> reforms announced in the budget the 'free delivery of telegrams' outside of London will be extended 'to an area of three miles instead of one, as at present'. Until now people outside of the mile limit have had to 'pay sixpence porterage for every telegram that [they] receive, equal to a tax of 100 per cent. on the cost of the telegram'. Meanwhile, the 'great nation which lives in the metropolitan area is to have its telegrams delivered free at any hour of the night and day, and on every day of the week'. (416) Prints a letter that George F HamiltonHamilton, Lord George Francis
ODNB CloseView the register entry >>, the Secretary of State for India, addressed to the Indian Government, which seeks to 'diminish the prevalence of venereal disease among the British troops serving in the East' without resorting to measures that could be viewed as encouraging vice, by obliging women who will not attend a hospital to leave the cantonment and also by employing female hospital assistants. The British committee of the Federation for the Abolition of the State Regulation of ViceFederation for the Abolition of the State Regulation of Vice
CloseView the register entry >> is nevertheless fiercely resisting 'even this minimised concession to the clamour of the doctors and the officers', and Josephine E ButlerButler, Josephine Elizabeth
ODNB CloseView the register entry >> has warned that the proposals mean that 'the door is left wide open [...] for the easy and speedy reintroduction of the whole system of regulated vice in one form or another'. (420) Relates the findings of David S JordanJordan, David Starr
WBI CloseView the register entry >>, who 'made investigations on the subject with scientific aid', regarding the protection of fur seals from being hunted to extinction. He recommends that all that is necessary is to 'round up the adult male seals in a three hundred acre body of salt water which could be surrounded with three miles of fencing, and to brand all the female fur seals by a series of bars across the skin of the back, so as to deprive their skins of any market value'. (423)
Section: Leading Articles in the Reviews
Review of Reviews, 15 (1897), 450.
The Progress of Medicine During the Reign. Sixty Years of Surgery and Physic
Photography, Technology, Electricity, Accidents, Engineering, Government
Reflects on the recent 'holocaust of Paris [...] one of the most terrible fire tragedies of modern times', in which over 140 people, 'mostly fashionable ladies' attending a charitable bazaar, were killed (526–27). The terrible fire began when the 'electric current that was used for the purpose of working a Kinematograph set fire to some combustibles in its immediate neighbourhood' (527). Also reports the opening of 'the Blackwall TunnelBlackwall Tunnel
CloseView the register entry >>, the one great engineering work that the County CouncilLondon County Council
CloseView the register entry >> has executed'. The 'tunnel has been five years in the making', and 'Eight hundred men have been employed in the work, the cost of which is £871,000'. (528)
Begins a review of the numerous achievements of Queen Victoria'sVictoria, Queen of the United Kingdom of Great
Britain and Ireland, and Empress of India
ODNB CloseView the register entry >> sixty-year reign, by remarking upon the 'marvellous shifting of the perspective' of time and space held by 'our grandfathers'. The Victorians have 'awakened to a sense of the antiquity of our lineage', and 'are beginning to discern somewhat of the massy foundations upon which long æons since was based the evolutionary process'. While the 'Elizabethan age owed much of its stimulus and inspiration to the discovery of another world across the Atlantic', these discoveries cannot be 'compared with the rapid unfolding of the marvellous records of the eternity of past time with which we have been familiarised by the researches of the biologist, the reading of the book on geology, and the patient digging of the archæologist'. (535) Although the Queen's record reign is often called 'a Materialist age, which has chained the soul of man to inert matter', in fact 'science proclaims that there is no such thing as inert matter, that every atom is alive, and that our mortal bodies are vast composite conglomerations of living organisms' (535–36). By advances in fields such as microbiology ('the microbe was practically unknown when the Queen came to the throne'), astronomy, and spectroscopy, 'science has revealed to us a new Heaven and a new Earth' which are 'infinitely marvellous', and 'Behind each discovery that advances our knowledge, the infinite unknown indefinitely recedes'. However, 'far more stupendous are the discoveries that have been made not in the infinitely distant abysses of space, but in the infinitesimally small molecules which are all around. Science has sent its RöntgenRöntgen, Wilhelm Conrad
DSB CloseView the register entry >> ray through the darkened veil, and revealed the Invisible, and summoned all men to enjoy it as their inheritance'. (536) Also pronounces the Queen's reign the 'Age of the Engineer', and insists that the 'Master-men of the Reign have been, not the politicians and statesmen, the soldiers and sailors, the poets and artists—they have been the engineers, the shipbuilders, the electricians, the men who have yoked the thunderbolts of Jupiter to the hammer of Vulcan, and have usurped the authority of Neptune over the waves at the same time they have outstripped the herald Mercury by the speed of their despatches. The steam-engine, the steamship, and the electric wire have, in sixty years, effected a more revolutionary change in the conception of distance than all the millenniums that have passed since the Stone Age' (537).
Conway 1897Conway, William
Martin 1897. The First Crossing of Spitsbergen: Being an Account
of an Inland Journey of Exploration and Survey, with Descriptions of Several
Mountain Ascents, of Boat Expeditions in Ice Fjord, of a Voyage to
North-East-land, the Seven Islands, Down Hinloopen Strait, Nearly to Wiches
Land, and into Most of the Fjords of Spitsbergen, and of an Almost Complete
Circumnavigation of the Main Island, London: J. M. Dent & Co.; New
York: C. Scribner's Sons
CloseView the register entry >>
Observes that William M ConwayConway, William Martin, 1st Baron Conway of
ODNB CloseView the register entry >> 'does not look down with scorn upon the tourist; on the contrary, he thinks the tourist is an invaluable ally of the scientific investigator'. If only 'summer travellers could be induced to visit' Spitsbergen, then, as has happened with the Alps, 'it might be possible to get a portion of the Arctic land minutely studied and exactly surveyed'. (600)