Harper's New Monthly Magazine,  9 (1884–85), 650–56.

Editor's Literary Record



Regular Feature, Review

Publications reviewed:

McLennan 1885


Anthropology, Sociology, Gender

    Reflects that 'science has had a very heavy loss in Mr. McLennan', and explains that his posthumously completed book demonstrates that 'even now, many races do not possess the Patriarchal Family. Perhaps the woman has several husbands, sometimes not even of the same blood. Perhaps the husband is reckoned into her family, in place of her being reckoned into his. Perhaps the children derive the family name through the mother (whose clan is never that of the father), and are thus not formally regarded as kinsfolk of the father at all. Where such practices are found, among many backward tribes, the Patriarchal Family, and paternal authority (Patria Potestas in Roman Law) do not exist'. However, the book, which 'attack[s] Sir Henry Maine's views [on agnation] with extreme vigour', is 'all but impossible [...] to the "general reader"'. (655)

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