Page:Folk-lore - A Quarterly Review. Volume 14, 1903.djvu/345

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Reviews. 315

Popular Studies in Mythology, Romance, and Folklore. No. 14. The Legends of the Holy Grail. By Alfred NuTT. Nutt. 1902.

This summary of Mr. Nutt's argument will be found of service as a guide to the intricacies of his larger book ; it is not, however, merely an index or abridgement, but a fresh exposition. The value of a short statement like this can hardly be put too high ; if there is any region where an effective guide-book is necessary, it is the tangled country surveyed by Mr. Nutt in his two books on the Grail. Those who follow him may possibly fail to appreciate the courage required for Mr. Nutt's investigations ; few can know as fully as he the difficulties of his subject. But it takes a very slight acquaintance with the documents to make one glad to have some help in dealing with them.

Objection may be taken to the statement that " Gawain had to be degraded, and a sure test of the age of any given Arthurian text is yielded by the view it presents of Gawain's character." In many late texts there is still to be found an undegraded Gawain, " the father of nurture," known for his "olde courtesie." The "test" only tells one way : the degraded Gawain is certainly not early, but the courteous and heroic Gawain fortunately survived in many late romances ; the tradition of his glory, as Chaucer's reference shows, was not broken, though it may have been partially eclipsed for a time by the promotion of Percival or Lancelot to higher

honour.

W. P. Ker.

Encyclopedia Biblica. A Gritical Dictionary of the Literary, Political, and Religious History, the Archaeology, Geography, and Natural History of the Bible. Edited by Rev. T. K. Cheyne, M.A., D.D., and J. Sutherland Black, M.A., LL.D. Vol. iv. London : A. & C. Black. 1903. Price for the completed book ;^3 3s. net.

On previous occasions in these pages {Folk-Lore, xi., 99; xii., 247; xiii., 218) I have called the attention of students of anthropology to this important Bibhcal Encyclopaedia, which has now reached