Page:Folk-lore - A Quarterly Review. Volume 16, 1905.djvu/408

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358 Reviews.

It has been mentioned above that Mr. Stow's work is historical rather than descriptive; but even with the descriptive portion left out, it would be well worth the attention of the anthro- pologist as a specimen of how history may be written from tradition. We do not indeed learn from whom Mr. Stow obtained his information, nor do we know how far all his information was concordant — two important points in dealing with evidence of any description, but especially with narratives which cannot be checked by written records. But in regretting the absence of these data, we must not forget that the MS. was unfinished at the author's death; in fact, a large part of his labours lay still before him.

For the get-up of the book it is impossible to find anything but praise. Both print and illustrations are excellent, and there is an index of over fifty pages; not only so, but, in contrast with anthropological works issued by some firms, the index has been prepared by some one who knew what was wanted.

N. W. Thomas.

Origines Islandicae, edited and translated by Gudbrand ViGFUssoN and F. York Powell. Oxford (Clarendon Press), 1905.

In reviewing the work of the late joint editors of these volumes, it must always be borne m mind that they have done more to spread the knowledge of Icelandic literature in England than all other English writers put together. Remembering therefore so considerable a debt, especially so soon after the lamented death of the survivor of the two, the critic feels less inclined to point out faults than to acknowledge the value and extent of the work done. Neither had a sufficiently severe training in philology, both were accustomed to use too slashing a hand in the treatment of texts; and both these faults are sometimes apparent in the present volumes, though to a far less irritating degree than in the Corpus Poeticum Boreale, to which they form a belated sequel.