Heredity, Darwinism, Human Species, Breeding, Eugenics, Mental Illness, Degeneration
Complains that all three articles fail to recognise that any plans to apply artificial selection to human breeding can be effected only 'by capital punishment, by surgical operation, or by perpetual imprisonment'.
Review of Reviews, 2 (1890), 33.
How We are Improving Mankind. One Practical Method of Elimination
Anti-Scientism, Heredity, Darwinism, Human Species, Eugenics, Degeneration, Morality
Reports that 'scientists are clamouring for State legalised murder in the interests of artificial selection' and 'deploring the perversity of maudlin philanthropists in preserving alive those whom the beneficent law of elimination would send to their graves'. The 'immortal principle of the survival of the fittest and the doctrine of heredity' nevertheless point towards the need for some regulation of human reproduction.
Review of Reviews, 2 (1890), 36.
English Universities. From the Dutch Point of View
Mesmerism, Medical Treatment, Medical Practitioners, Anaesthesia, Boundary Formation
Notes that Richardson's article dismisses hypnotism as a 'contagious [...] epidemic' and also claims 'that NapoleonNapoleon I, Emperor of France
CBD CloseView the register entry >> hypnotised and governed by soldierly suggestion thousands of men who, on the field of battle, knew no fear. Under the same kind of power a medical practitioner can sometimes abolish physical pain; but it is not a method that can be depended upon with any certainty'. For Richardson 'the hypnotic method will never become a serious rival of the physical anaesthesia, local and general, produced by ether' and will soon be seen as merely one of many 'passing vanities'.
Review of Reviews, 2 (1890), 49.
The Science of History. Must it be Based on Statistics
Engineers, Military Technology, Gas Chemistry, Humanism, Patents, War, Science Fiction, Futurism, Progress, Ethnology, Christianity, Photography, Telegraphy, Imperialism, Railways, Electricity, Government
Relates how the 'Giffard gun', which uses gas to propel bullets without sound or heat, is 'destined to destroy empires, check the progress of Socialism, and establish throughout the world the principle of government by consent of the governed' (103). Both man's ability in the future 'instantly at will [to] kill his fellow with impunity' and the increasing 'utilization of Vril—the invisible force of the universe' will mean that 'government by force becomes extinct'. This is illustrated by a lengthy passage from Edward G E L Bulwer-Lytton'sLytton, Edward George Earle Lytton Bulwer-, 1st
ODNB CloseView the register entry >> science fiction novel The Coming RaceLytton, Edward George
Lytton Bulwer 1871. The Coming Race, Edinburgh: William
CloseView the register entry >> (104). Presents two photographs of 'an Indian of the Wild West' that show him before and after the process of Christian civilization that has replaced the military subjugation of native Americans (105). Also comments that creating confusion amongst the enemy by 'lying by telegram' is 'regarded as [a] legitimate mode of warfare' (106), and reports on how the African mainland is being increasingly connected by telegraphs and railways. The House of LordsHouse of Lords
CloseView the register entry >> has rejected a 'proposal to make an electric underground railway from Kensington to the City, fearing that it might endanger the stability of St. Paul's' (111).
Review of Reviews, 2 (1890), 116–20.
School Excursions to Historic Scenes. Report of Our Helpers on Service for July
After complaining that we are 'bringing up our children in almost total ignorance of the scenes in the midst of which they pass their lives', the article lists a few clubs and associations whose members 'find profit and pleasure in visiting the scenes famous in our island story' (117). Amongst those selected is the Brighton Higher Grade Board School Natural History ClubBrighton Higher Grade Board School Natural History Club
CloseView the register entry >>, whose rules are listed.
Section: Leading Articles in the Reviews
Review of Reviews, 2 (1890), 129–30.
My Schools and Schoolmasters. By Professor Tyndall
Extracts Holmes's claim that even in this 'age of cynicism' the 'form of cosmic vitality which we call electricity' should induce 'reverence'. Holmes comments, 'How near the mystic effluence of mechanical energy brings us to the divine source of all power and motion!'. He also describes 'electric tramcar[s]' as 'mighty caravans' powered by a 'mystic impulse'.
Review of Reviews, 2 (1890), 155.
Mr. Grant Allen's Ideal of Womanhood. A Protest from Madame Blavatsky
Reports that for 'a great number of [...] readers' Grant AllenAllen, Grant (Charles Grant Blairfindie)
ODNB CloseView the register entry >> 'should be placed under the major excommunication by all editors, and never again be allowed to sign an article in any periodical read by decent people'.
Review of Reviews, 2 (1890), 157.
Are Criminals Responsible. The True Philosophy of Punishment
Describes the 'spread of spiritualism in Holland, especially among the so-called cultivated middle classes' for whom neither the orthodoxy of the lower classes nor the unbelief of the educated upper classes can uphold the moral codes which underpin the social order.
Review of Reviews, 2 (1890), 160.
The Final Destiny of the Earth. A Curious Speculation
Vaughan's Catholic view is that 'the world will continue until every particle of its immense bulk has passed through human bodies, and the whole of its enormous weight will be just sufficient to furnish forth new bodies for the human race when the trumpet sounds for the Resurrection!'.
After noting that in 'the July issue of thePhotographic QuarterlyPhotographic Quarterly
CloseView the register entry >> is published a photo-crome, or photo-mechanical print in natural colours, which is interesting as being the first photo-chrome from solid objects issued to the public in England, if not the world', the article details the history of scientific attempts to achieve the 'beautiful dream' of permanent colour photographic images. (187) Written in 'non-technical words' (187), it concludes that 'in ten or fifteen years, photography in natural colours may be almost as simple, and quite as near perfection, as photography in mono-chrome is to-day' (188).
Reports that 'cholera, that beneficent sanitary inspector of the universe, is on his rounds again'. The water-born disease 'probably does more for the sanitation of the world than all the other diseases put together' (213), for it is only during a cholera outbreak that there occurs 'a sudden awakening of the public conscience' over the need for public health legislation (214).
Blavatsky argues that the English are not in a position to criticise Russian atrocities in Siberia when, as Carl LumholtzLumholtz, Carl
WBI CloseView the register entry >> claims, 'To kill a native of Australia is the same as killing a dog in the eyes of a British colonist'. She also cites a passage from Lumholtz's book Among CannibalsLumholtz,
Carl 1889. Among Cannibals: An Account of Four Years' Travels in
Australia and of Camp Life with the Aborigines of Queensland, London: John
CloseView the register entry >> which suggests that within a few years 'the Australian aboriginal race will have disappeared from the face of the earth'. (235)
Review of Reviews, 2 (1890), 236.
How to Feed Mankind in the Millennium. Try Hothouses. By Prince Kropotkin
Buchanan, author of A Manual of PsychometryBuchanan, Joseph
Rhodes 1885. A Manual of Psychometry: The Dawn of a New
Civilization, Boston: Holman Brothers, Press of the Roxbury Advocate
CloseView the register entry >>, has previously 'made several predictions which have been verified'. He now predicts that, as 'periodicity is a law of nature', we are 'approaching our revolutionary period', during which there will 'occur a geological convulsion before which all the earthquakes of the past will seem the merest trifles'.
Review of Reviews, 2 (1890), 246.
Another Mattei Miracle. A Cancer Cured After Three Operations
Claims that the 'doctrine of free will is entirely destroyed by hypnotism' and warns that the 'hypnotised can be used as a ready tool in the service of crime'. Calls for state legislation which will restrict 'the practice of hypnotism' to 'licensed physicians [...] having authorized witnesses present'.
Review of Reviews, 2 (1890), 250.
Submarine Boats in War. A Novel Idea for the Defence of Sea Ports
Argues that even though the performance of several operations, including writing and playing the piano, become mechanical, a 'psychic force remains in action, side by side with automatic force'. However, 'when the man has become all mechanical his race is run. He is already half dead'. This state of senility, in which the mental state is nothing more than 'an agglomeration of acquired habits', is 'possible at all ages'.
Evolution, Human Species, Sex, Heredity, Periodicals
Asserts, 'I am glad to see that Mr. A. R. Wallace is a diligent reader of the Review of ReviewsReview of Reviews
Directory CloseView the register entry >>', basing his Fortnightly article on 'the various summaries of articles on the subject of the improvement of the race which appeared in recent numbers of the Review' (255).
Complains that articles in Belgian periodicals on geology and experimental physiology are 'mere food for babes, with not one new idea, good at most for a primer in a Board School'. What is presented to the Belgian public 'as something "new and strange"' is well known in England, even to 'a scholar at a working man's college'.
Commenting on Joseph Lister'sLister, Joseph, 1st Baron Lister
ODNB CloseView the register entry >> recent address at the Berlin Medical CongressBerlin Medical Congress
CloseView the register entry >>, the article considers 'a subject which, on the face of it, seems far more incredible—far more unthinkable—than the existence of the angelic host' (296): the process by which foreign particles invading the animal body are broken down by tiny corpuscles 'now called Phagocytes' (297). Although science has 'christened them with an uncouth Greek name', Phagocyte cells in fact resemble 'fairies' or 'the tiniest elves' whose 'lives are spent in doing good to man'. Indeed, in 'the new science of Germicide we have the realization in material shape of the most fantastic dreams of our myth-evolving ancestors'. (296) Now that nearly all modern diseases have been traced to 'the presence of bacteria which prey upon the blood', we have great need of this 'huge standing army of beneficent but infinitesimally small entities [...] in every drop of blood' (296–97). As 'Professor Ray LankesterLankester, Sir Edwin Ray
ODNB CloseView the register entry >> said nearly two years ago', the 'future of preventive medicine [...] lies in the education of Phagocyte', which may, by a process of inoculation, be given 'a healthy appetite, and a sound digestion for all the poison germs which manifest mankind' (297).
Comments that 'While politicians have rested on their oars, [...] scientists have been busy' during September. Military manoeuvres on the Continent, for instance, have 'driven home to the imagination of the world the fact that the "smoke of battle" is now as much an anachronism as the crossbow. The battles of the future will be fought with smokeless powder'. (313) Extols Frederick A AbelAbel, Sir Frederick Augustus, 1st Baronet
ODNB CloseView the register entry >> as a 'great chemist' and 'the wielder of Vril', but complains that his Presidential Address to the British Association for the Advancement of ScienceBritish Association for the Advancement of Science
CloseView the register entry >> at Leeds contained 'no dynamite' and 'left no clear and certain impact upon the mind' (314). However, Ménie M DowieDowie, Ménie Muriel
ODNB CloseView the register entry >>, the 'granddaughter of Robert ChambersChambers, Robert
DSB CloseView the register entry >>', delivered a paper on her explorations in the 'out-of-the-way' Carpathian mountains to the Geographical Section, which, far from being considered 'unwomanly', was received enthusiastically by 'the Parliament of Science'. Her talk 'teaches what a woman can do without ceasing to be womanly'. Also remarks that a 'cheap re-issue of Malthus'sMalthus, Thomas Robert
DSB CloseView the register entry >> famous "Law of Population"Malthus, Thomas
Robert 1890. An Essay on the Principle of Population: or, A View
of its Past and Present Effects on Human Happiness with an Inquiry into our
Prospects Respecting the Future Removal or Mitigation of the Evils which it
Occasions, (reprinted from the last edn rev. by the author. With a
biography of the author and critical introduction, by G. T. Bettany), London
and New York: Ward, Lock
CloseView the register entry >> is one of the signs of the times'. (315)
Section: Leading Articles in the Reviews
Review of Reviews, 2 (1890), 337.
How to Reform Our Hospitals. By Sir Morell Mackenzie
Hospitals, Medical Practitioners, Political Economy
Suggests that the living standards of patients applying for hospital treatment should be investigated by the Provident SocietyProvident Society
CloseView the register entry >> in order to reduce the 'abuse of hospital charity'. Those who 'through want of thrift' fail to subscribe to a provident system should 'not be allowed to receive relief except at the Poor Law or pauper hospitals', and should also 'forfeit for a time their political rights'. This reformed scheme of medical relief would also ensure the 'unification' and 'better distribution of hospitals', as well as throwing open hospital appointments to all 'legally-qualified medical practitioners, regardless of the source or nature of their diplomas'.
This 'shot fired against the scientific school' considers whether a philosopher's 'opinions on the value of psychological experiment' make him responsible when 'his pupil, in the name of psychological study, makes experiments upon himself and the daughter of his employer' which lead to 'dishonour, and finally death, for the girl'. No definitive answer is given to the problem. Concludes that 'the cultivated youth of France [...] will not be taught to forget' the path of 'moral progress [....] by dilettantism, nor scepticism, nor Darwinism, nor determinism'.
Asserts that the 'most astonishing results [...] have been produced in astronomy by the aid of photography', and claims that 'Never before in the history of humanity has man possessed the power of penetrating so profoundly into the depths of the infinite' (378).
Précis of a recent book by William BoothBooth, William
ODNB CloseView the register entry >>. Contends that the Salvation ArmySalvation Army
CloseView the register entry >> has elicited a 'pactolean stream from the barren rock of a materialistic and unbelieving generation'. Also argues that 'if General Booth be altogether mistaken in his theory of the universe, the work is even more miraculous than if he is right. For if we grant to the uttermost all that materialistic and agnostic ever claimed, grant that man dies as the beast dies [...] the marvel and the mystery of the work which Mrs. BoothBooth (née Mumford), Catherine
ODNB CloseView the register entry >> and her husband set on foot are more marvellous and more mysterious than if these, our hypotheses, be correct'. (384)
War, Scientism, Military Technology, Chemistry, Alchemy
Commemorates the ninetieth birthday of Helmuth K B F von MoltkeMoltke, Helmuth Karl Bernhard Freiherr von
CBD CloseView the register entry >>, 'the supreme scientific soldier of the century'. For him 'War [...] became more an affair of the laboratory of the chemist than of the tented field. He was the great alchemist of victory, who discovered the philosopher's stone in the simple secret of doing everything beforehand that could be done'. (420)
Review of Reviews, 2 (1890), 423–37.
Character Sketch: October. The Right Hon. John Morley, M.P.
Complains that because Frederic Harrison is 'not compelled to write in order to live [...] one of the most brilliant pens in English literature is allowed either to rust or indite Positivist lectures which are delivered to a mere handful of the elect' (446).
Review of Reviews, 2 (1890), 448.
Mr. Gladstone on Science and the Bible. Concluding Paper
According to William BoothBooth, William
ODNB CloseView the register entry >> the 'injustice of our present social arrangements [...] is to the mass of men Atheism made easy' (496). Notes that Booth 'shudders while he admits that the more forbidding doctrines of Calvinism should have been to some extent rehabilitated by the favourite scientific doctrines of our day', especially those of heredity and automatism, and that he resolutely 'rejects the gospel of despair in its quasi-scientific dress' (497). Booth asserts that he has made a discovery in 'the philanthropic sphere' which is 'something analogous' to the 'discovery of the steam engine' and 'the engineer's parallel bars' in the sphere of transportation, and like these, it too will 'transform civilization' (499).
Comments on the popular 'prejudice against cannibalism' provoked by the late James S Jameson'sJameson, James Sligo
ODNB CloseView the register entry >> 'scientific investigations into the existence of the custom' in central Africa. Relates how 'Possessing the scientific temperament, Mr. Jameson, hearing stories of cannibalism, refused to believe what he had never seen'. He 'put it to the test' by watching a group of cannibals kill and eat a slave girl, sketching the scene 'with the utilitarian nonchalance of a man of science' and 'congratulating himself on his unique experience'. (541) Also records (with the help of photographs and a map) the sinking of HMS SerpentHMS Serpent CloseView the register entry >> off the Spanish Atlantic coast, as well as a 'disastrous' railway accident near Taunton caused by the human error of a signalman. (542–43)
The introduction begins by reflecting on 'the flood' of 'consumptive patients' from all over Europe who have descended upon Berlin in the 'hope that at last the wizards of science had discovered a formula by which to conjure away the malady which has eaten into their lungs' (547). However, the elaborate secrecy which surrounds H H Robert Koch'sKoch, Heinrich Hermann Robert
DSB CloseView the register entry >> experimental remedy leads to a consideration of Cesare Mattei'sMattei, Cesare
WBI CloseView the register entry >> alleged cure for cancer. Although 'Koch is fashionable, and Mattei is heterodox', it is hoped that there 'will be much more readiness to subject the Mattei remedies to a scientific examination and to experiment after the Koch boom than before'. The author nevertheless complains of 'the curious inconsistency which prevails in the profession' of medicine, and states that while 'the British Medical JournalBritish Medical Journal
Directory CloseView the register entry >> has itself taken an honourable part in enlightening the English public as to the remedy' advanced by Koch, 'when confronted by another secret remedy its acting EditorPaget, Sir James, 1st Baronet
ODNB CloseView the register entry >> will not listen to any suggestions of examining Count Mattei's remedies'. (548) In a brief afterword, the author remarks, that, as with Mattei's cure, 'there is absolutely no proof as yet that the Koch inoculations have cured a single case of consumption' (560). In his character sketch, Doyle relates how he 'had the good fortune to be the first English physician to arrive in Berlin after the announcement of Koch's discovery' (555). He reflects that the 'unruly tribes of deadly micro-organisms' now brought 'under subjection' by Koch are 'the last creatures in the organic world to submit to the sway of man'. These ostensibly 'insignificant creatures', who 'in one year [...] would claim more victims from the human race than all the tigers who have ever trod a jungle', have made a 'satire [...] upon the majesty of man'. (552) The article also includes Koch's own account of his remedy, translated from the Deutsche Medizinsche WohenschriftDeutsche Medizinsche Wohenschrift
BUCOP CloseView the register entry >>.
Education, Photography, Light, Microscopy, Colleges, Class
Set thinking by an earlier article in the Review of Reviews [Anon, 'How to Utilise the Magic Lantern. Some Valuable Hints to Teachers', Review of Reviews, 1 (1890), 404], the author announces that 'Photography and the Magic-Lantern seem destined to revolutionize education [...]. Between them they are going to democratize sects, [and] educate the masses'. It is 'in science teaching [that] this change will be more easily effected', where it is 'so obvious an advantage to be able to throw upon a screen, a thousand-fold magnified, before the eyes of a whole class, the exact picture of the microscopical infinitesimals, the varying fortunes of whose continual warfare make the difference between health and disease'. As well as in 'highly equipped colleges of science [...] endowed by pious founders or supported by public taxes', the magic lantern can also be used to help educate the poor, especially in religion. (561)
Section: Suggestions for Christmastide
Review of Reviews, 2 (1890), 570–72.
Work for the Children to Do. The Dicky Bird Society
Gives details of the Dicky Bird SocietyDicky Bird Society, Newcastle-upon-Tyne CloseView the register entry >> in Newcastle-upon-Tyne which exists to 'train children for helpful service to those who are round about them, and especially the dumb creatures who so often have been regarded as fair game for youth to torture and kill' (570).
Section: Leading Articles in the Reviews
Review of Reviews, 2 (1890), 577–78.
Miraculous Virtues of Cold Water. The Story of the Cures of Priest Kneipp
Acclaims August F L Weismann'sWeismann, August Friedrich Leopold
DSB CloseView the register entry >> theory of the continuity of the germ-plasm as 'one of the boldest and most masterful conceptions of science, forming a fitting supplement to Darwin'sDarwin, Charles Robert
DSB CloseView the register entry >> theories of the evolution of life'. Although 'originally a scientific hypothesis', Darwinism 'has invaded nearly every province of thought at the present time. It has transformed science; it has re-constructed philosophy'. (647) Darwin is 'the second Newton Newton, Sir Isaac
DSB CloseView the register entry >> which England has given to science', although until recently the French, out of 'a certain national jealousy', 'would not give up CuvierCuvier, Georges
DSB CloseView the register entry >>' (648). In an interview with Weismann at his home in Germany, Kidd discusses the sociological implications of his theory, as well as his insistence, in opposition to Alfred R WallaceWallace, Alfred Russel
DSB CloseView the register entry >>, on the possibility of an entirely naturalistic explanation for the 'origin and development of the musical faculty' (649). Because Weismann's theory rejects the transmission of acquired characteristics, it is able to 'dispel [the] nightmare' of urban 'vice and degradation' being 'transmitted to offspring and accumulated from generation to generation'. It is, Kidd concludes, the 'best hope which Darwinism has yet produced'. (650)
Review of Reviews, 2 (1890), 651–56.
The Book of the Year—In Darkest England. For the Way Out—£70,000, and More to Follow