Observes that part of the huge popularity of the late artist Edward C Burne-JonesBurne-Jones, Sir Edward Coley, 1st Baronet
ODNB CloseView the register entry >> was 'no doubt due to the natural recoil of our age from the indulgence of its predominant passion. Science with its spectroscope and its innumerable apparati of research is explaining everything. Commerce with its insatiate grasp is seizing everything. But Burne-Jones stood up in the midst of the scientific and commercial generation and proclaimed aloud that there is a knowledge which no scientist can measure and a glory which no enterprise can seize' (23).
Details the 'curious cure' propounded by an Austrian doctor who claims that clothes are 'anti-hygienic, a source of physical and moral degradation' because the enclosed 'skin is not allowed to act as it is meant by Nature to act'. With men and women segregated, the doctor's 'patients and guests lie with but a rag round their loins and bask in the sun and air and rain'.
Vaccination, Government, Ethics, Politics, Medical Practitioners
Heralds the 'defeat of the Government over the Vaccination Bill' as 'a victory of the greatest importance, for it is a victory which almost for the first time definitely and formally extends the area within which conscience is recognised as king'. The amended bill now allows that 'any parent who satisfies the Justice of the Peace that he has conscientious scruples which forbid him to assent to the vaccination of his children is to be exempt from compulsion. This concession, bitterly assailed by the medical police, who as always are dominated by the fixed idea that the health of the community can only be secured by the sacrifice of the liberties of the subject, makes a great advance, the full significance of which is yet but dimly appreciated'. (119) Applauds the 'dogged determination of anti-vaccinators to go to gaol rather than submit their children to inoculation', and acknowledges that the government 'capitulation' by which the 'anti-vaccinators reaped their reward for many years of painstaking agitation throughout the country' was occasioned by the 'conviction on the part of the majority [in Parliament] that their seats would not be safe unless some concession was made by the Government' after 'a dead set was made against the Conservative candidate by the anti-vaccinators' in a by-election at Reading (120).
Machinery, Technology, Transport, Invention, Industry
Observes that 'whereas our forefathers rebelled against new mechanical discoveries which by ousting the labour of man seemed almost sacrilegious, we nowadays by a curious reaction have acquired such an excessive confidence in machinery in general that we instinctively pick holes in every new invention. We are too apt to forget that the machines to which we are accustomed have only reached their present pitch of perfection by slow degrees. Motor-cars have certainly suffered by the public's expecting perfection all in a moment'.
Review of Reviews, 18 (1898), 162.
The Police and the Press. Scotland Yard Censorship
Reports that the 'general public' have been 'startled' by the news that 'for selling a scientific work, which he did not write and did not publish, and for which he was in no way responsible, the police were prosecuting Mr. George BedboroughBedborough, George
RLIN CloseView the register entry >>', and warns that 'so far as the facts have been stated to me, the action of the police seems calculated to bring into the gravest discredit the cause in which they are supposed to be acting'. After all, the book in question, Henry H Ellis'sEllis, Henry Havelock
ODNB CloseView the register entry >>Studies in the Psychology of SexEllis, Havelock
1897. Studies in the Psychology of Sex, Vol. 1, Sexual Inversion,
London: University Press
CloseView the register entry >>, 'was not proposed to be sold for general circulation. Every copy supplied to booksellers was labelled "This book is a scientific work, intended for medical men, lawyers, and teachers. It should not be placed in the hands of the general public". I have read the book, and no person who reads it with an impartial mind could come to the conclusion that it was published with the intention of corrupting the morals of Her Majesty's subjects'. Although it 'may be alleged that such problems should not be discussed, and that the whole question should be buried in impenetrable silence', the 'answer to this is that if the legislator makes one theory of the Psychology of Sex the basis for passing a law which sends citizens to penal servitude, it is impossible to shut out such a theory from public discussion. Dr Ellis' inquiry goes to the very root of the theory upon which one section of the Criminal Law Amendment Act is based, and if the conclusions at which he arrives are sound the principle of that legislation is unsound, and will have to be modified, for the same reason that capital punishment is never enforced upon persons of disordered minds'. Notes the 'general contention of the medical profession, which is that, if the sale of such a book as Dr. Ellis' justifies the wholesale seizure of every book on the premises of any bookseller, the sale of medical works will be very much restricted', and cautions against 'the sudden extension of the police censorship to the realm of scientific discussion'.
Proposes a scheme to 'supply subscribers at a reasonable rate with separate articles or sets of articles on certain subjects', an idea which is presently 'carried out by the Engineering MagazineEngineering Magazine
Directory CloseView the register entry >>, and articles on all technical subjects connected with Engineering are offered to subscribers at certain fixed rates'.
Records that the 'House of LordsHouse of Lords
CloseView the register entry >> plucked up heart of grace in order to make a last stand for the principle of compulsory vaccination', although the 'system of enforced vaccination [...] has ended in making vaccination so unpopular that, to give the doctors a chance of inoculating the population against small-pox, it has been necessary to abolish compulsion wherever parents plead conscientious objection', and the lords have now grudgingly accepted the bill, and its conscience clause, after a second reading (228–29).
Review of Reviews, 18 (1898), 233–44.
Character Sketch. Dr. F. J. Campbell, of the Kingdom of the Blind
Regular Feature, Biography
Disability, Statistics, Education, Schools
Reports that the Royal Normal College for the BlindRoyal Normal College for the Blind
CloseView the register entry >> is 'just now in the crisis of its destinies', and so 'no moment could be selected more timely for the publication of a Character Sketch' devoted to its 'remarkable' founder Francis J CampbellCampbell, Francis Joseph
WBI CloseView the register entry >> (233). Across the world 'the denizens of the Kingdom of the Blind are at least one million strong', while in Britain there are '32,000 sightless of all ages' (234). In the early 1870s both Campbell, an American expatriate originally from Tennessee, and Thomas R ArmitageArmitage, Thomas Rhodes
WBI CloseView the register entry >>, founder of the British and Foreign Blind AssociationBritish and Foreign Blind Association
CloseView the register entry >>, tried to introduce educational innovations in existing schools and colleges for the blind, but found that the 'citizens of the Kingdom of the Blind looked askance at these revolutionary proposals' and 'new-fangled theories', and so the two men determined to start 'a small school and try the experiment' themselves (241). The Royal Normal College for the Blind at Norwood in South London is now 'a veritable city of light' for its 160 pupils, and 'although no one can make them see with their eyes, Dr. Campbell has to a very large extent succeeded in making them see with their fingers' and enabling them to 'move about with an alert confidence'. Campbell himself is an accomplished mountaineer and the 'only blind man who has ever ascended Mont Blanc'. Indeed, John TyndallTyndall, John
DSB CloseView the register entry >>, 'meeting the indomitable little man in the Alps, inquired as he took his arm, "Are you really blind, or are you only humbug?". (242) The college 'under the shadow of the towers of the Crystal PalaceCrystal Palace
CloseView the register entry >>' (234) is undoubtedly the 'best of its kind', but it now faces debts of nearly £25,000, and readers of the Review of Reviews are called upon to help raise the 'comparatively trifling sum necessary to wipe off this financial embarrassment, and to restore it to its necessary independence' (244).
Section: Leading Articles in the Reviews
Review of Reviews, 18 (1898), 263–64.
Louis De Rougemont. Gulliver and Munchhausen Outdone
Remarks that the success of the British-Egyptian forces at the battle of Omdurman shows the 'thickness of the magic panoply of civilisation'. During the battle the Mahdist army of Dervishes 'fought as befits men who were making the last and the supreme rally of savage humanity against the perfected machine of scientific valour', and they 'had to be cleared out by Maxims, and died literally in heaps'. It is now evident that the 'sceptre of the world, even of the heart of Central Africa, is no longer wielded by the brawny arm of the swift barbarian. Not even in the far Soudan can the brain of the chemist and of the mechanic brook a rival. The brain that invents is now definitely master of the hand that slays, and although the lesson has been terrible—as executions always are—is it not a vital feature in the progress of the world?'. (327) At the same time, however, the 'human factor [...] cannot be eliminated even by the chemist. To hurl the thunderbolts of science it is necessary to have men who can carry them within range of the enemy. A race of weaklings cannot wield the hammer of Thor'. Also reports that four hundred miles further down the Nile from Omdurman, the town of Fashoda has been claimed by 'Major MarchandMarchand, Jean Baptiste
CBD CloseView the register entry >>, a French explorer who left the West Coast of Africa two years since on a pseudo-scientific expedition across the continent'. (328) At the meeting of the 'British AssociationBritish Association for the Advancement of Science
CloseView the register entry >>Sir W. CrookesCrookes, Sir William
DSB ODNB CloseView the register entry >>, in his inaugural address, indulged in an alarming speculation as to the possible exhaustion of the nitrates of the world. To answer the prayer, "Give us day by day our daily bread", it is necessary we should have sufficient store of fixed nitrogen to replenish the exhausted fertility of our wheat lands', but we are 'using it up rapidly, and wasting it [...] to the sum of £16,000,000 a year in sewage emptied into the sea'. Crookes, however, reassured his audience that 'free nitrogen exists in the atmosphere in such immense volume that if the chemist could but induce the mechanician to complete the harnessing of Niagara to the dynamo, he would ere long be able manufacture the fertilising nitrate direct from the air'. Comments that, along with Crookes, 'Another scientific man [i.e. William Thomson (1st Baron Kelvin)Thomson, Sir William (Baron Kelvin of
DSB CloseView the register entry >>; see Anon, 'Mankind Under Notice to Quit. All Life Extinct Within Four Hundred Years', Review of Reviews, 17 (1898), 465] is said to indulge in the speculation that in three hundred years the progress of industrialism will have exhausted the oxygen of the atmosphere of the world. There is nothing like a man of science with imagination for the breeding of nightmares'. Also observes that 'Sir W. Crookes distinguished himself by the testimony which he bore in his Presidential address to the truth of what I am wont familiarly to speak of as "spooks". No scientific man has investigated more carefully or certified more positively the strange phenomena of spiritualism', and concludes 'Good, very good all this. Spooks are looking up'. (333)
Details that article's claims that the British race is superior because, amongst other things, of the 'tendency of our moral and mental weaklings to indulge in excess in intoxicants', which 'indulgence in the drinking habit shortens the victims' lives, precluding them from bringing into the world other weaklings', and complains that the 'strange intermixture of the grotesque and the serious leaves one in an uncertainty whether the paper is or is not meant as an elaborate pleasantry'.
Describes the invention by Wynford BrierlyBrierly, Mr Wynford (of Carr Hall
Villa, Nelson, Lancashire)
RR1/18/4/14 CloseView the register entry >> of the 'Brierly apparatus', which holds out the prospect of improved safety on the railway system. The apparatus is 'as simple as anything of this kind can well be' and consists of a 'contact bar [...] mounted on the end of the rails on a rocking shaft, and [...] connected by a lever and wire to the ordinary signal connection, so that when the signal is put to danger by the man in the signal-box he also raises the contact bar into a position to strike a lever affixed to the engine. The blow, when it takes place, makes a complete electric current, sets an alarm bell ringing on the engine and works an indicator'. Also reports that 'Trials have been made on an express train on the Great Northern RailwayGreat Northern Railway Company
CloseView the register entry >> for many months with the apparatus, and with complete success'.
Nationalism, National Efficiency, Declinism, Industry, Electricity, Commerce, Transport, Technology
Remarks that 'Compared with New York, London is a badly lighted country village. Compared with Hamburg, the street locomotion is as that of the stage coach era compared to that of the train de luxe. Why, even here in Sebastopol, in the city which has risen like a phoenix from the ashes of the fortress we pounded to bits half-a-century since, electric trolley cars are running which are immensely in advance of anything to be found in the capital of the British Empire'. At the same time, there is a 'general movement against the English abroad', and although 'Englishmen made the gas for St. Petersburg', and 'All over Southern Russia, Englishmen founded and directed ironworks, and presided over the industrial development of the country. Now all is changed. Belgians and Frenchmen and Germans do the business, and a greater business, that the English began. Even in the working of tramways Belgians make lines pay which the English have abandoned in despair of earning a dividend'. (442)
In the wake of 'a NorwegianNansen, Fridtjof
DSB CloseView the register entry >> who' only last year 'mounted nearer than any human being before him to the summit of the Northern Icecap', now comes 'a Swede who has faced not less appalling dangers while clambering over the Eastern "roof of the world"'. Recounts the details of Sven Hedin'sHedin, Sven
WBI CloseView the register entry >> epic journey across Asia and over the Himalayas, on which he was 'Steadily accumulating scientific data for the enlightenment of Western savants'. (501)
Reports that the 'long standing dispute between Canada and the United States as to the right of killing seals in the open sea has been settled by an arrangement which was foreshadowed last year at Washington by Mr. GageGage, Lyman Judson
WBI CloseView the register entry >>, the Secretary of the Treasury [....] Canada gives up the right of deep sea sealing, and the United States compensates her for this abandonment of what is admittedly a legal right' (543).