Reports that 'In order to replenish the ivory market of England 15,000 elephants have to be killed every year. The annual slaughter of elephants amounts to 75,000. As the elephant does not begin to breed until it is thirty years old, and the average is one youngster every ten years until he is ninety, the extinction of the elephant is within measurable distance'.
Advises readers to devote 'half-an hour' to their own 'experiment' with the powers of automatic writing, and notes that the 'Spiritualist theory is that the hand is taken possession of or controlled by a disembodied spirit, which is delighted to have this opportunity of communicating once more with the world which it has left'. After considering the testimony of W Stainton MosesMoses, William Stainton
ODNB CloseView the register entry >> (who is 'now recovering slowly from his severe illness') concerning his 'regular tête-à-tête with the unseen intelligences which dominated his hand and wrote the substance of his "Spirit Teaching"Moses, William Stainton
[M. A., Oxon, pseud.] 1883. Spirit Teachings, London:
Psychological Press Association
CloseView the register entry >>', concludes that it is 'only possible to avoid the spiritistic hypothesis by setting up theories of personality which, if logically applied to the common actions of life, would land us in a condition of inextricable confusion'.
Observes that the 'American working classes [...] are much better fed than the English', although 'even in America the true science of nutrition has by no means yet been matured' and the poor still tend to 'consume too much of the fuel-ingredients of food [...] and too little of the blood and muscle-forming ingredients'.
Reports that the 'oddest article in the magazines for the month' is by Garner, who 'has spent much time of late in studying monkey language, but [...] is not content with pursuing his favourite occupation in the zoological gardens of Europe and America. Nothing will content him but to go to monkey-land, where he hopes to sit at the feet of the anthropoid apes and learn the secret of their tongue. The scheme in itself is notable enough, but it is raised to the veriest limit of fantasy by the developments which it has undergone in the ingenious brain of the Professor. I should like to hear what Mr. StanleyStanley, Sir Henry Morton
ODNB CloseView the register entry >> or any other African traveller would say to the museum of scientific knickknacks by which the Professor proposes to rise superior to the difficulties of African travel'. These items include 'a large wire portable cage which is to serve him as a house', and 'a patent combination catapult gun-barrel which will silently discharge an arrow or a bolt the head of which will be loaded with fifteen drops of prussic acid'. His 'idea of tropical climate may be inferred from his proposing a canvas top and gummed cloth sides in order to keep the drenching deluge out from his sanctum in which he is going to store his phonograph, photographic instruments, telephone, and electric battery'. Predicts that although 'this ingenious professor of Civilisation' may 'make the journey and die in poverty [...] to succeed with all this apparatus, photographic cameras, the concentrated ammonia batteries, and the prussic acid darts, is beyond the reach of Professor Garner or any one else'.
According to Forbes, 'who has certainly had excellent opportunities for studying the question on the spot', it is 'quite certain that New Guinea can never be colonised by white people. It is not only that white people die there, but before they die they are useless, owing to the climate, which causes great lassitude and nervous irritation'.
Review of Reviews, 6 (1892), 56.
Are You a Paranoiac? Or the Latest Nickname for Cranks
Nomenclature, Mental Illness, Degeneration
Recognising that the 'available terms of opprobrium, crank, madman, lunatic, etc., have been used so often', Henry S WilliamsWilliams, Henry Smith
WBI CloseView the register entry >>, a 'medical superintendent of the Randall's Island Hospitals', has 'furnished us with a new word which will soon pass into the current coin of civilised intercourse. His new word is paranoia, paranoia being a modern form of insanity'. This new kind of mental illness 'bears fruit in delusions of persecution, or hallucinations, or delusions of grandeur. The paranoiac suffers from a steady degeneration of the brain through hallucinations and delusions towards the delusion of grandeur. But once paranoia sets its seal upon a victim, its sway is absolute'.
Reports that the decision of the University of St AndrewsUniversity of St Andrews
CloseView the register entry >> to admit women to 'everything [...] has had some curious results. Among others it seems to have prompted Sir J. Creighton BrownBrowne, Sir James Crichton-
ODNB CloseView the register entry >> [i.e. Crichton-Browne] to deliver a lecture concerning the brains of men and women, the gist of which is that, physiologically, women are born inferior to men, and that it is no use trying to pretend that they are otherwise. To quote the exquisite phrase of this specialist in lunacy, "that which has been settled millions of years ago by the prehistoric protozea, from whom we are supposed to be descended, cannot be reversed by Acts of Parliament or the resolutions of Women's Righters". This doctrine of the infallibility of the remote protozea is not a dogma that is likely to commend itself to the women of to-day'. Instead, suggests that although women are 'not able to do everything [...] equally with the protozea of the pre-historic ages they have a right to decide and to influence, so far as they can, the shape of their brain convolutions. The process is slow, but every little counts, and a full-grown woman has at least as much right to decide the shape of her own brain as those of interesting protozea who are elevated to the rank of scientific substitute for God Almighty'. (74)
Nutrition, Health, Medical Treatment, Heterodoxy, Homeopathy
Recommends the use of 'watercress as a specific against cancer' when taken 'raw for breakfast with whole-meal bread, and also as purée in soup, or made into quinelles with butter and flour'. At the same time, by 'abstaining from animal food the cancer seems to be deprived of its nourishment'. Notes that 'none of my patients had ever given a thought to their diet, except perhaps now and then'. Although there is 'nothing new in these hints', for 'those who cannot have the benefit of consulting a physician, and who wish to use Count Mattei'sMattei, Cesare
WBI CloseView the register entry >> medicines inwardly [...] by adopting these hints they will find the way cleared for very surprising results'. An editorial notice appended to the foot of the page announces that 'In the next number of the REVIEW OF REVIEWS will be published the report of the Experimental committee' into the efficacy of the Mattei medicines.
Relates how 'the boiler of the Mont BlancMont Blanc, ship CloseView the register entry >>, the largest paddle-steamer on Lake Geneva, exploded at Ouchy [....] The saloon was full of ladies and children taking lunch when this boiler-plate swept them in mangled heaps to the stern. It was deadlier than a broadside, for it was followed by a rush of suffocating steam' (113). Reports the outbreak of cholera in Eastern Russia, and notes that 'It is a curious illustration of the blind folly of the popular masses in a frenzy that in order to check the cholera they kill the doctors, and throw disinfectants into the river by way of protests against the plague'. Warns that although 'we expect a comparative immunity from its ravages [...] with 2,000 cases of scarlet fever in a single week in London we cannot plume ourselves too much upon our sanitary position'. (115)
Review of Reviews, 6 (1892), 127–41.
Character Sketch: August. Sir Charles W. Dilke
Regular Feature, Biography
Morality, Psychology, Heredity
After detailing how Charles W DilkeDilke, Sir Charles Wentworth, 2nd Baronet
ODNB CloseView the register entry >> misled the electors of the Forest of Dean over his involvement in a divorce case, asks, 'How is it that a dissolute man of the world could stoop to so odious an imposture? [....] That is the problem that confronts us to-day. It is a terrible psychological study' (129). Proposes that it is simply 'a case of heredity and education', for, even as a child, Dilke was 'Predisposed by inherited instinct to self-indulgence' (130). Indeed, as a young man 'he gave himself over to the flesh, and the Devil claimed him as his own. Given a rich young man, hereditarily predisposed to excess, thrown into the hands of evil women of abnormal passion and corrupted life, and you have a problem that works out almost automatically in one fatal direction. The man becomes as corrupt as the woman, and his life is rotted at its source' (131).
After examining the testimony of an American surgeon and a Huguenot professor, concludes that the 'moral of both these stories seems to be that what we call dying is no more death than the changing of a suit of clothes is dying. The earthly house of this tabernacle is dissolved, but the soul goes on living just the same as before, only under different circumstances' (147).
Review of Reviews, 6 (1892), 148–49.
Behold This Dreamer Cometh. Mr. Frederick Greenwood in a New Role
Recounts Greenwood's sympathetic treatment of the 'occult phenomena connected with dreams, sub-consciousness, etc.' (148), and rejoices at the rather surprising prospect of Greenwood 're-enforcing the army of those who make war against the materialist superstition, which refuses to admit the clearest possible evidence as to the existence of things which cannot be accounted for by their hypothesis'. Richardson, on the other hand, continues to insist that dreams are only 'explainable on physical grounds'. (149)
Details a 'séance' in Copenhagen attended by Tsar Alexander IIIAlexander III, Tsar of Russia
CBD CloseView the register entry >> of Russia and other members of European royalty, in which the 'audience took an active part in the performance'. As well as experiments in 'thought-reading', there was 'quite a novelty, in the shape of Miss Bentley'sBentley, Ida Lewis
WBI CloseView the register entry >> experiments dealing with so-called magnetic phenomena'. Before commencing, Bentley informed her royal audience that 'no mystery was to be made about them, but that the experiments would be exhibited in order to show how force could be diverted without the apparent employment of a counter force'. (182) As part of 'the "lifting test"', Bentley, 'by merely placing a hand on each side of the back of a chair, with the thumbs slightly curved', elevated a heavy flat-bottomed chair which held 'one Emperor, two future Kings, and one King in posse. Never was there so much royalty upon one single chair before'. At the conclusion of these experiments, the 'various royal ladies present [...] one and all wished to see if they were "magnets"'. It was 'whilst the magnetic craze was at its height in London' that Bentley's 'first actual test experiments were given' in the home of Henry D P LabouchereLabouchere, Henry Du Pré
ODNB CloseView the register entry >>, who had 'invited a number of distinguished folk to witness her demonstrations, by natural means, of the phenomena for which supernatural claims were then being made. Miss Bentley completely knocked the bottom out of the supernatural theory, and, in doing so, was of great service to the cause of common-sense'. (183)
Review of Reviews, 6 (1892), 195–96.
Can Cancer be Cured? Report of the Mattei Investigation Committee
Medical Treatment, Heterodoxy, Homeopathy, Quackery, Controversy, Boundary Formation
Reports that the 'lamented death' of Morell MackenzieMackenzie, Sir Morell
ODNB CloseView the register entry >> has led to the 'reconstruction' of the medical committee examining the efficacy of Cesare Mattei'sMattei, Cesare
WBI CloseView the register entry >> medicines for the cure of cancer, with George W PotterPotter, George William
WBI CloseView the register entry >> being appointed as the new chairman. However, when certain members of the new committee defended the expediency of its formation in the medical press, the Matteist doctors mistakenly assumed that the committee's rules had been violated and 'refused to continue their treatment any longer under the observation of the Committee'. Accordingly, the committee produced a draft report of its findings up to that point and 'thereupon dissolved'. The report concludes unambiguously that 'sufficient evidence has been obtained to convince the Committee of the altogether inert character of the so-called cure', and that there is nothing 'which tends to differentiate it favourably from other so-called "cancer cures", which have invariably been found in practice to fail'. (195) In a letter responding to the report, the Matteist doctors point out that 'while not asserting that any cures have been effected, the patients have experienced relief, and one and all are persuaded that they are better after having used the medicines'. Noting that this is 'a somewhat lame and inconclusive result to be arrived at after all the trouble that has been taken', suggests that 'our readers can form their own opinion of the evidence which I put before them'. (196)
Disease, Sanitation, Public Health, Christianity, Rationalism, Experimental Psychology, Mesmerism
Cholera is now raging across the European mainland, and because 'the Russian Jews [...] fleeing from the Muscovite Pharaoh' to North America must by necessity 'cross England from Grimsby to Liverpool, no sanitary precautions will suffice to keep out' the disease from English shores. However, although it 'sounds paradoxical', the 'threatened visitation is a blessing in disguise. The Asiatic Cholera is the great Sanitary Inspector of Nature. He may be regarded as the author of modern sanitation, and whenever the zeal of the sanitarian burns low, the Cholera goes his rounds and revives the faith of mankind in measures of public health. There can be little doubt that the Cholera saves far more lives than the few whom it sacrifices'. Indeed, the 'beneficent scourge' is a 'striking illustration of the immense utility of sensationalism in the economy of the universe', in that, notwithstanding the efforts of 'journalists [who] exhaust their resources in striking headlines as if to get up a cholera panic', cholera is, in fact, 'really one of the least deadly of diseases'. (215) Also notes that 'there is a good deal more rationality about many of the features of Roman Church' than Protestants are willing to allow. For instance, the 'researches of psychologists, the phenomena of hypnotism, the strange new science of psychometry, are bringing to light the foundations upon which many much-contested Catholic doctrines really rest. Psychometry gives a rational basis for the veneration of relics, and it is being discovered there is more to be said for prayers for the dead, pilgrimages, and many other elements of faith and practice which Protestants regard as most irrational'. (221)
Review of Reviews, 6 (1892), 235–44.
Character Sketch: August. The New Cabinet
Regular Feature, Biography
Justifies the departure from the usual format of the monthly character sketch by observing that 'After the curious evidence which psychological science has adduced to prove the multiplex character of the personality of the individual, it is not difficult to conceive of the Cabinet [of William E Gladstone'sGladstone, William Ewart
ODNB CloseView the register entry >> new government] as a personality only a little more complex than that which is possessed by any of the subjects of our previous sketches' (235).
Reports that Garner, in London while having a phonograph made, has visited the offices of the Review of Reviews. He comes across as 'a tough customer' having fought both with the Confederate army and 'in the plains campaigning against the Indians'. He is also 'an enthusiast who lives for nothing except to master the Simian tongue'. Both these qualities will be invaluable during his proposed researches in the 'heart of a Central African forest'. After 'studying monkeys in all the Zoological Gardens in America', he has at last visited the Zoological Society GardensZoological Society of London —Gardens
CloseView the register entry >> in London. Although Garner 'had not found much there to interest him', he nevertheless remarked that 'he had never seen a monkey house so clean and sweet as that in Regent's Park'. Also notes that Garner now proposes 'establishing a system of barter with the apes'.
Protests that 'the so-called vampire bat is a grossly-maligned creature' which is in reality 'a strict vegetarian when it is not eating insects'. While these relatively harmless creatures are both feared and persecuted because of their name, there are 'many blood-sucking bats which are objectionable enough to be called vampires, although, instead of bearing that name, they are called Desmodus rufus'.
Review of Reviews, 6 (1892), 266.
The Lost Son of Darwinism. A Lament Over Mr. A. R. Wallace
Claims that Alfred R WallaceWallace, Alfred Russel
DSB CloseView the register entry >> is the 'typical Darwinian fin de siècle figure', who 'between his two stools comes to the ground, and lies there, a curious compromise between Darwinism and Spiritualism'.
Some Remarks on Matteism and its Critics. With Special Reference to the Cancer Committee's Report
Medical Treatment, Medical Practitioners, Heterodoxy, Homeopathy, Quackery, Controversy, Boundary Formation
Accepts that George W PotterPotter, George William
WBI CloseView the register entry >> and the other members of the medical committee which examined the efficacy of Cesare Mattei'sMattei, Cesare
WBI CloseView the register entry >> medicines for the cure of cancer are 'justified in lifting up their horn on high and claiming all the credit which belongs to those who have subjected a very important claim to a scientific test and found it wanting'. At the same time, however, it is far from being proven that 'Matteism is a fraud, a delusion, and a snare', and the doctors of the committee are not justified in advising the public to 'abjure for ever all reliance upon his oddly named globules and electricities'. Indeed, it is 'curious how unscientific some scientific men become when they give rein to the passion of intolerance'. After all, it is more than probable that the orthodox practices of surgery would cure no more cancer patients than the application of heterodox remedies in a straight contest of 'Matteism versus the knife'. (284) The best practical advice to a cancer patient is, as soon as any lump is discovered, to let a doctor 'cut it out root and branch, even if there is a doubt whether it is cancer [....] it would be foolish to delay in order to try Matteism or any other 'ism, orthodox or heterodox'. If, on the other hand, the disease is at an already advanced stage, Mattei's homeopathic remedies can at least 'diminish the local pain' and 'improve [...] general health', and, as such, they should not be 'denounced as mere fraudulent quackery'. In fact, when the remedies are used in cases of 'Heartburn and indigestion' the sickness rapidly disappears 'as if banished by a magic wand'. Concludes that the 'moral of the whole controversy is that there ought to exist a competent, permanent, scientific tribunal which would undertake the experimental observation of the operation of all remedies whatever'. (285)
Review of Reviews, 6 (1892), 288–97.
The Book of the Month. "The Heritage of the Kurts". By Bjørnstjerne Bjørnson
Disease, Sanitation, Public Health, Medical Practitioners, Government
Reports that during the outbreak of cholera, London was 'placed, as it were, in a sanitary state of siege': the city was divided into 'twenty districts' each of which was commanded by a 'medical officer'. It was ordered that the 'moment a man was down with the cholera the police were to be notified, and as soon as the notification was received a telephonic message to the [sanitary] headquarters brought the sanitary column to the house. The patient was whisked off to hospital, all moveables were carried off to the disinfecting station, and the sanitary column washed and scrubbed the room and covered it with disinfectants'. At times when 'life is at stake and you are at close grips with death, the social organism ignores everything but the promptings of self-preservation'. Even 'personal liberty' must be temporarily given up, and 'the despotism of doctors, like drumhead court martials, is sometimes an inevitable and indispensable evil'. (319)
Section: Leading Articles in the Reviews
Review of Reviews, 6 (1892), 350.
An Agnostic Eirenicon. From Mr. Harrison to Mr. Huxley
Describes a 'new railway' which 'consists of a continuous fence solidly built, with a rail on the top bar, over which the bicyclist drives a kind of upside-down machine with a small wheel behind him and a slightly larger one in front'. With this contraption 'each passenger is his own locomotive'.
Review of Reviews, 6 (1892), 356.
Is Spiritualism of the Devil? Yea, Verily, Says the Catholic Church
Ought Mrs. Maybrick to be Tortured to Death? An Appeal From North America, and a Confession From South Africa
Crime, Chemistry, Pharmaceuticals, Expertise
Observes that the toxicological evidence of Charles M TidyTidy, Charles Meymott
ODNB CloseView the register entry >>, in his capacity as 'one of the official analysts to the Home Office' and as a medical expert called on behalf of the defendant, casts serious doubt on Florence Maybrick's conviction for the murder of her husband by arsenic poisoning (394), and calls for the 'sentence to be revoked' (395).
In reflecting on the recently deceased laureate, insists that 'no one can read "In Memoriam"[Tennyson,
Alfred] 1850. In Memoriam, London: Edward Moxon
CloseView the register entry >> without recognising that the poet was conscious of spirit-communion which, if it had been suspected in a less eminent man, would have led to his ostracism as a lunatic or a spiritualist'. In fact, Alfred TennysonTennyson, Alfred, 1st Baron Tennyson
ODNB CloseView the register entry >> 'wrote many of the best and truest things he ever published under the direct influence of higher intelligences, of whose presence he was distinctly conscious', and he 'was, to use the technical term, a clairaudient and inspirational medium'. (446)
While the 'rage for railway construction has for years absorbed all the road-making attention of Americans; now they are beginning to devote their attention to the value of high roads'. Perfectly 'smooth pavements will follow, constructed upon the most scientific principles'. Predicts that 'the bicycle contains in itself the element of a new type of vehicle, which will come into universal use, with the supplanting of animal traction by electricity'. Soon 'Multitudes of light vehicles of various sizes impelled by electricity will speed noiselessly in every direction. All the noise and rattle of the street practically will vanish, and with it much of the nervousness of city dwellers'.
Suggests that by the 'utilisation first of sewage and then of old bones' in the production of phosphorous for matches, 'every man, woman, and child in the country saves seventy-eight hours a year, or ten working days, in the quickness with which he can strike a light'. Also notes that in 'the utilisation of waste substances it is very odd that some of the nicest things come out of the nastiest materials. For instance, fusel oil is the stinking product of the distillation of spirits. It is, however, utilised to make oil of grape and oil of cognac'.
Review of Reviews, 6 (1892), 568.
How Far Have We Got? The Conclusions of the Psychical Researchers
States that there is 'an undefined mental faculty which can receive sensations from events occurring at a distance (when they concern persons in whom the subject is deeply interested, or in magnetic rapport), as the senses receive impressions from objects within their reach'.
Although 'still satisfied with the range which Messrs. Leggott put in my house' [see Anon, 'The Exorcism of the Smoke Fiend; Or, How to Get Rid of the Plague of Fog', Review of Reviews, 5 (1892), 298–99], the 'fog fiend' that has afflicted the capital 'is not going to be driven out by only one method of attack'. Suggests that John J Hartnett'sHartnett, John Joseph
RLIN CloseView the register entry >> 'antiseptic drying air treatment of consumption' can also be 'utilised for the purpose of filtering the atmosphere in public buildings. It operates on the principle of a fan with a small electric motor. Its inventor is sanguine that, by its use, he will be able to make the air of the Underground Railway perfectly fresh and sweet'.
A Revolution in Printing and in Journalism. An Interview with the Revolutionist
Invention, Machinery, Engineering, Medical Treatment
The interviewee Joseph J ByersByers, Joseph J
RR1/6/6/11 CloseView the register entry >> explains how the "Feister" Patent Printing Machine 'has solved the problems with which all printing engineers have been grappling in vain for the last twenty years. It will print at newspaper speed from an endless web with the precision of a flat machine. It will not only do this, but it will fold, paste, cut, and deliver at the same time' (589). In the space of a year, two machines 'will be able to turn out 180 millions of Mother Seigel's Syrup pamphlets', and, Byers avers confidently, 'there is no limit [....] to the world's consumption of patent medicine pamphlets' (591).