Reports the indictment for manslaughter of two keepers at the Frankfurt zoological gardensFrankfurt. zoological gardens
CloseView the register entry >> who refused to shoot a bear that was mauling a 'poor half-witted servant girl' who had entered the bear-pit, because it 'was much too valuable an animal to be destroyed' (10).
Review of Reviews, 4 (1891), 22–34.
Character Sketch: July. The Prince of Wales
Regular Feature, Biography
Scientific Naturalism, Religion, Degeneration
Despite being the subject of 'one thousand millions of prayers' every day, Prince EdwardEdward VII, King of Great Britain and Ireland and
of the British Dominions Beyond the Seas, Emperor of India
ODNB CloseView the register entry >> has become embroiled in the 'Baccarat Scandal of Tranby Croft'. Observes that 'As a prayer gauge on the principle suggested by Professor TyndallTyndall, John
DSB CloseView the register entry >>, His Royal Highness, who in course of time may become Defensor Fidei, can hardly be said, as Heir-Apparent, to have contributed much to strengthen the faith of the modern world in the efficacy of prayer'. (23) Adds that the Prince suffers from that 'fatty degeneration of the moral sense which often sets in after prolonged self-indulgence' (30).
Section: Leading Articles in the Reviews
Review of Reviews, 4 (1891), 41.
Some Tributes to Madame Blavatsky. By Theosophists
Describes the 'scientific system which has resulted in making Paris the best lighted city in the world', especially now that it is 'on the point of being completely supplied with electric light'. Also remarks on 'the comparative barbarism of the electric lighting appliances in America', which is 'between ten and fifteen years behind Europe in all the matters'.
Review of Reviews, 4 (1891), 48.
Natural History Papers
Natural History, Naturalists
Review of Reviews, 4 (1891), 49.
A Murder on the Eve of St. John. A Weird Ghost Story from Switzerland
Before abstracting the ghostly narrative, considers whether it is 'a genuine experience' or 'merely spun from the imagination of the writer, in which case, of course, it would lose all interest'. Later states, 'Clearly Mr. Frank Cowper should immediately place himself in communication with the Society for Psychical ResearchSociety for Psychical Research
CloseView the register entry >>, and if there be any truth in his narrative a picked body of psychical researchers should spend the Eve of St. John in that ruined chalet'.
Explains the reasons for Besant's 'latest change of front'. Having given up 'her Materialism [...] and substituted Theosophy for Atheism [...] Malthusianism has [now] followed Materialism into the limbo of no longer credible fallacies'. In opposition to her earlier neo-Malthusian calls for birth control, Besant now preaches that only through a life of ascetic 'self-control and self-denial' will men and women be able to develop the 'bodies and brains of a higher type' that will be theirs after reincarnation.
Reprints a comic dialogue in which a morally reformed Prince EdwardEdward VII, King of Great Britain and Ireland and
of the British Dominions Beyond the Seas, Emperor of India
ODNB CloseView the register entry >> insists on 'no frivolity—no cards' and refuses to attend the races in favour of 'a discussion at the Chemical SocietyChemical Society
CloseView the register entry >>' on 'The Suspected Affinity of the Family of the Hydrofloisboiabominalenis for certain Members of the Group Tetrasulphoambustenchoxymanes' (146).
In an article entitled 'Rabies Africana: The Degeneration of Europeans in Africa', Nordau claims that 'the zeal for annexing African territory is a veritable epidemic' that both harms the indigenous population and leads to the rapid degeneration of the European colonizers (155).
Records the eightieth birthday of Lorenzo N FowlerFowler, Lorenzo Niles
ODNB CloseView the register entry >>, a 'kind of phrenological bishop' whose tireless travelling and 'lecturing on bumps' makes him one of those 'minor shuttles of the English-speaking race which bind and weave together into one whole the web of the English family'.
Discusses 'certain strange instincts in cattle, which in some cases resemble insanity'. These include the excitement caused by the smell of blood, and the 'impulse to kill a weakly animal' shown by herds of healthy cows.
Describes a trip for 'clerks and mechanics' organised by the Regent Street Polytechnic InstituteRegent Street Polytechnic Institute
CloseView the register entry >>, which introduces the men to the natural history of the Norwegian fjords (181). Reports that 'we amused ourselves by watching for whales', and after successfully spotting 'three of Jonah's lifeboats', sang an impromptu concert of hymns (182).
Steamships, Military Technology, Public Health, Sanitation, Medical Practitioners, Error, Progress, Sex, Astronomy, Spectroscopy, Photography, Creation, Psychical Research, Scientific Practitioners
Recent naval manoeuvres have created 'grave doubts as to the efficacy alike of the torpedo and the defensive netting provided against torpedo attack', and it seems likely that this nautical 'crinoline will be discarded in naval warfare' (216). In reporting Prince Edward'sEdward VII, King of Great Britain and Ireland and
of the British Dominions Beyond the Seas, Emperor of India
ODNB CloseView the register entry >> call for the prevention of disease through improved sanitation, insists that we must not become the 'bondslaves of the doctors' and 'sacrifice the liberty of all in order to save a few from the inconvenience of ill-health'. After all, in almost every age doctors 'have committed themselves to blunders which have made them the laughing-stock of their own profession in the next generation'. Although the medical profession has 'undoubtedly a splendid record of achievement to show as the result of improved sanitation', their 'greatest blunder [...] in this generation' has been the Contagious Diseases Act which attempted to eliminate 'syphilis by legislation' but instead only served to 'give an enormous stimulus to the vice by which it is propagated'. (221) With this ill-conceived piece of legislation doctors became 'the New Inquisitors'. At the meeting of the British Association for the Advancement of ScienceBritish Association for the Advancement of Science
CloseView the register entry >> at Cardiff, William Huggins'sHuggins, Sir William
ODNB CloseView the register entry >> presidential address described 'discoveries made in the starry heavens by the use of the spectroscope'. Although his account was not 'popularly intelligible', it left upon 'the mind a sense of the creative process of the first book of Genesis being endlessly renewed before our eyes in the star-sown deep of space'. At the same meeting 'one of the Presidents of the Parliament of Science [i.e. Oliver J LodgeLodge, Sir Oliver Joseph
ODNB CloseView the register entry >>] ventured mildly but firmly to enter his protest against the monstrous anti-scientific superstition of most men of science, that the occult phenomena of thought transference, clairvoyance and the like, ought not to be investigated'. At last, it seems that 'Light is breaking even in the darkest places of scientific arrogance and know-nothingism'. (222).
Review of Reviews, 4 (1891), 255–56.
Native Choristers from South Africa
Ethnography, Race, Imperialism, Display
Describes a visit to the offices of the Review of ReviewsReview of Reviews
Directory CloseView the register entry >> by 'almost the first South African natives who have ever visited this country'. In their nation-wide tour, the native choir, 'clad in the costumes of their ancestors', have 'succeeded in creating widespread interest, and have produced a perfectly new sensation' among 'the somewhat wearied public of the old country'. (255)
Review of Reviews, 4 (1891), 257–58.
Wanted, a Census of Ghosts! An Appeal to our Readers for Statistics of Hallucinations
Appeals to 'the half-million readers whose eyes will fall upon this page in all parts of the habitable world' to 'help the Psychical Research SocietySociety for Psychical Research
CloseView the register entry >> in their most useful and suggestive inquiries' by sending in details of encounters with apparitions. Although confessing that he has 'never yet had the pleasure of interviewing a ghost', William T SteadStead, William Thomas
ODNB CloseView the register entry >> insists that 'it is supremely unscientific not to believe in ghosts' for to 'reject all the mass of testimony [...] out of deference to a preconceived theory, is absolutely opposed to the scientific spirit'. Rather, the true inquirer must 'confine himself strictly and judicially to the collection and observation of facts', which has been 'the principle on which the Psychical Research Society has for several years pursued its most interesting labours' and has 'succeeded in establishing beyond all gainsaying [...] that apparitions really appear'. Furthermore, the 'discovery of the reality of what the Society calls the Phantasms of the Living', which provides new clues as to the 'nature and latent possibilities of human beings', removes the 'degree of creepiness' usually associated with 'all discussion concerning the ghosts of the dead'. (257)
Section: Leading Articles in the Reviews
Review of Reviews, 4 (1891), 265.
How I Shall Start for the North Pole. By Dr. Nansen
Gives details of a recently 'patented [...] simple invention' which gives extra heat to homes while 'diminishing to an appreciable extent the waste of household coal'. The author, who claims to have used 'the invention both at the office and in my own house', draws attention to 'the reckless rate at which we are consuming the coal supply of the world', but also notes some disadvantages with this new method of heating.
Review of Reviews, 4 (1891), 288.
Dr. Samuel Kennedy
Medical Practitioners, Colleges, Medical Treatment, Heterodoxy, Boundary Formation
In reporting the suicide of Georges E J M BoulangerBoulanger, Georges Ernest Jean Marie
CBD CloseView the register entry >>, notes that 'if the creed of the Theosophists be true, suicide is surrounded with terrors at least equal to those of Dante's hell'. Indeed, the 'new science of occultism bids fair to rehabilitate the ghastly vision of the under world'. (337)
Complains at the 'most unscientific reluctance on the part of the ordinary citizen' to relate their experiences of phenomena 'which are usually regarded as fair game for [the] laughter of fools', and assures readers that all the experts who have 'investigated the subject and taken pains to examine the evidence' are 'perfectly convinced [...] that apparitions actually occur'. It is hoped that by means of the eventual 'Census of Ghosts', 'any person coming to take up his residence in any town or county will have at his hand a directory of ghosts, just as he now has a directory of the other less shadowy inhabitants of the place'. Another subject of investigation which requires the co-operation of readers is 'the fascinating question popularised by Louis StevensonStevenson, Robert Louis
ODNB CloseView the register entry >> in his well known story of "Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde"Stevenson, Robert
Louis 1886. The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde,
London: Longmans, Green
CloseView the register entry >>, namely, that of multiple personality'.
Announcing that Annie BesantBesant (née Wood), Annie
ODNB CloseView the register entry >> is 'one of my most intimate friends' (349), William T SteadStead, William Thomas
ODNB CloseView the register entry >> relates how he had 'to put my foot down' in resisting 'an attempt to enforce even in these pages the policy of boycott that still prevails in certain obscure quarters' with regard to Besant's writings (350). Gives an account of Besant's eventful life, and her intellectual journey from High Anglicanism, through doubt, theism, atheism, freethought, neo-Malthusianism, socialism, materialism, and, finally, theosophy. It was her association with Moncure D ConwayConway, Moncure Daniel
CBD CloseView the register entry >> and, most importantly, Charles BradlaughBradlaugh, Charles
ODNB CloseView the register entry >>, that set Besant on the road to becoming 'the high priestess of infidelity', although she assumed that role only because of the essential 'religiousness of her irreligion' (360). Comments on her brave stand 'vindicating the right to print and publish physiological works, discussing the best method of checking the over multiplication of the population of the planet', and adds that, while it discusses candidly 'the most momentous of all the acts which human beings can perform', Charles Knowlton'sKnowlton, Charles
WBI CloseView the register entry >> neo-Malthusian book The Fruits of PhilosophyKnowlton,
Charles 1877. The Fruits of Philosophy: An Essay on the
Population Question, new edn (with notes [by G. R., i.e. George Drysdale,
and a preface by Charles Bradlaugh and Annie Besant]), London: Freethought
CloseView the register entry >> is 'a judicious and scientific treatise on the physiology of the state into which' newly married couples 'propose to enter' (361). Neo-Malthusianism, which 'advises early marriage and the limitation of the family' through birth control, is at least preferable to the original doctrines of Thomas R MalthusMalthus, Thomas Robert
DSB CloseView the register entry >>, which have resulted in the 'shocking prostitution, which is the curse of every Christian city' (367). Concludes that Besant's 'conversion [...] from Materialism to a firmly based belief in the reality of the spiritual world' is a 'miracle' and 'an achievement much more wonderful [...] than the duplication of any number of teacups or the tinkling of whole peals of "astral bells"'. She brings to the Theosophists 'a zeal and an enthusiasm at least equal to that of H. P. B.Blavatsky, Helena Petrovna Hahn
ODNB CloseView the register entry >>', and at last provides Blavatsky with a rightful 'heir and successor'. (366)
Review of Reviews, 4 (1891), 370–71.
"England at the End of the Century". Wanted, Volunteers to Co-Operate in Each Locality
Amateurism, Naturalists, Class
In attempting to establish a network of observers who will amass information on the nation that 'represents the highest point which the human race has yet attained', the writer comments that 'In making this appeal I wish to guard against the mistaken assumption that it is only ladies and gentlemen of leisure and culture who can render valuable service in this matter'. Rather, groups such as 'Local naturalists are [...] an excellent set of men who deserve a high place among those who constitute a veritable salt of the earth', although 'it is difficult to get in touch with these people; the best of them are very modest and need a great deal of persuading to convince them that they know anything of the slightest interest to the great world outside'. (371)
Describes a Nicaraguan 'vine called by the natives "the devil's snare"' which is 'as horrible as the devil fish [...] the octopus, which has hitherto been regarded as the most hateful and horrible of all created things'. The vampiric vine 'seems literally to drain the blood of any living thing which comes within its death-dealing touch'.
Relates how the vegetation in tropical rain forests fights 'to get to the top, where alone there is sunlight' with such intensity that 'for a time you almost regard the trees as living beings which tear with tiger claws at each other's vitals'. Even the most beautiful tropical trees, then, experience an 'intense [...] struggle for existence'.
Review of Reviews, 4 (1891), 401.
How to Improve the Race. Marry from the Point of View of Offspring
Gives 'the Theosophical view of the dangers which attend spiritualistic séances'. After death the 'desire or lusts of the human frame [...] takes form as an astral body' known as 'Kama Rupa'. This is the 'uncanniest entity in the invisible world', existing 'without conscience' and with 'habits [...] as objectionable as its morals, if morals it can be said to have'. During spiritualistic séances 'mediums of a low type attract these undesirable visitors'.
Although 'the human being is an aggregation of many beings brought into immediate communication with each other' and our 'individuality' is 'made up of myriads of lesser individualities', Fouillée disputes Alfred Binet'sBinet, Alfred
DSB CloseView the register entry >> assertion that there are 'several distinct personalities' within each human psyche. Rather, he maintains that this theory 'arises from an indistinctness of the prevailing conception of identity' which fails to account fully for the operations of 'sub-consciousness'. (474)
Reports on the 'recent successful experiments carried on in the far west of America to produce rain by explosives'. The following article, however, 'demonstrates conclusively that it is absolutely impossible to make rain in any such way' and 'is chiefly valuable as an illustration of the positive assurance with which scientific men are ready to demonstrate that to be impossible which has already been done'.
Notes that 'the progress of the experimental test' has not been reported recently because with the 'cases being under the committee, I am precluded from reporting on them while the matter is, as it were, sub judice'. In the mean time, interested readers are advised to refer to Samuel Kennedy'sKennedy, Samuel
RLIN CloseView the register entry >> newly published 'shilling volume' Is Cancer Curable?Kennedy,
Samuel . Is Cancer Curable? The Cancer Controversy: Mattei
v. the Knife. With Epitome of Mattei Treatment of Cancer and General
Diseases, London: D. Stott
CloseView the register entry >>.
Review of Reviews, 4 (1891), 500.
"Darwinism in the Nursery". Curious Experiments with Babies
Experiment, Darwinism, Human Species, Descent, Periodicals, Photography
Reports on the series of experiments which this 'ingenious doctor' has conducted upon children of less than a month old. The children's remarkable ability to 'hang by the hand to a bar', in which they resemble 'little apes [...] clinging to their mothers', gives strong support to the 'Darwinian theory of our Simian origin'. Also notes critically that 'Mr. KnowlesKnowles, Sir James Thomas
ODNB CloseView the register entry >> has not yet developed sufficient enterprise to enable him to publish Dr. Robinson's photographs'.
In commemorating the seventieth birthdays of Hermann von HelmholtzHelmholtz, Hermann von
DSB CloseView the register entry >> and Rudolf C VirchowVirchow, Rudolf Carl
DSB CloseView the register entry >>, comments that the 'Germans, at any rate, cannot be accused of ignoring the heroes in their midst'. However, the 'very complimentary [Imperial] telegram' sent to Helmholtz on his birthday is 'a great contrast to the silence which the EmperorWilhelm II, Emperor of Germany and King of Prussia
CBD CloseView the register entry >> has as yet observed on the occasion of Professor Virchow's similar celebration', and the 'inference is that the politics of the Professor, who was a member of the Freisinnige Partei, debarred him from Imperial recognition'.
Periodicals, Disease, Medical Treatment, Controversy, Medical Practitioners, Quackery, Experiment, Observation, Psychical Research, Scientific Practitioners
Boasts that after two years the Review of ReviewsReview of Reviews
Directory CloseView the register entry >> is 'a magazine which, it is hardly too much to say, has come to be recognised as a necessity of civilization'. As well as having a 'circulation of well on to 200,000 copies in all parts of the English-speaking world', the 'whole REVIEW, from first to last, has been dominated by a great Ideal, and almost every page has borne witness to a living faith'. (551) Gives details of the various campaigns pursued by the Review in the last two years, including 'the effort [...] made to test the efficacy of the MatteiMattei, Cesare
WBI CloseView the register entry >> remedies as a cure for cancer'. Observes that it was the 'counsel of Professor HuxleyHuxley, Thomas Henry
DSB CloseView the register entry >>' that 'defined the nature of the experiment' currently taking place in a hospital cancer ward. Also remarks on 'the extension of the range of subjects with which the REVIEW is practically concerned to the other side of the grave'. Indeed, 'If, as some of the ablest scientists of the day believe, it be possible to secure a scientific demonstration of the persistence of the personality of man after death, then it is impossible for a review such as this to exclude the phenomena which establish so tremendous a proposition from the calm, clear, and searching light of scientific observation'. (555)
While Thomas A EdisonEdison, Thomas Alva
DSB CloseView the register entry >> is 'holding out a prospect of an electrical railway' in which the carriages will travel at 'the rate of a hundred miles an hour', William CrookesCrookes, Sir William
DSB ODNB CloseView the register entry >> 'has been appalling the imagination of the electrical engineers by telling them of the enormous possibilities of energy stored up in matter'. Most significantly, however, 'that strange genius' John E W KeelyKeely, John Ernst Worrell
WBI CloseView the register entry >> has claimed to have 'discovered the secret of liberating the enormous energy that is locked up in every atom' by a 'certain vibration' that 'ruptures the envelope in which the molecules revolve'. Notes that 'Of course, if Keeley [sic] is right, we are on the eve of a revolution compared with which the utilisation of steam was as nothing; and it must be admitted that Mr. Crookes and other men of science have at least enabled ordinary mortals to admit the possibility that "there may be something in Keely after all"'. (563)
Section: Leading Articles in the Reviews
Review of Reviews, 4 (1891), 590.
Mark Twain Among the Prophets. How he Discovered Telepathy
Reports on 'two remarkable inventions, of which we shall hear something more in this country before long'. The first is 'the use of ramie fibre as a material for the manufacture of steam pipes', and the second is a process by which 'artificial ivory is to be made, in the future, out of milk'.
Review of Reviews, 4 (1891), 598.
Count Mattei and His Medicines. M. Venturoli Mattei in London
Disease, Medical Treatment, Controversy, Medical Practitioners, Quackery, Experiment, Observation
Attempts to make 'mince-meat of the whole unsalubrious decadence doctrine of the anti-culturalists, by proving that amongst the uncivilised races there exists as much of ill-health, discontent, and misery as amongst the cultured'.
Concludes that 'there is a good deal in phrenology, quite enough to make it well worth while for teachers and parents to submit the heads of their children to phrenological examination'. Also notes that of the 'moral aspect of phrenology I need say nothing more than this, that like most of the modern sciences it tends towards charity'.
Review of Reviews, 4 (1891), 602.
What is Farming Coming to. An American Dream of the Future