Page:Folk-lore - A Quarterly Review. Volume 22, 1911.djvu/299

From Wikisource
Jump to navigation Jump to search
This page needs to be proofread.


Reviews. 26

o

The last chapter sets out Mr. Dennett's views as to the step-by- step development of man from a non-speaking animal existence, and indicates what he considers to be the possible direction of future growth. Whether at the present stage of our knowledge some of his theories seem somewhat fanciful or not, all must agree with him that the wise administrator ought to help the West Coast African upward on natural lines, and must therefore study the con- dition and thoughts of his people. For such study Mr. Dennett's book is indispensable.

Lion and Dragon in Northern China. By R. F. Johnston.

Murray, 1910. Demy 8vo, pp. xiv-f-46i. Map and 111. Chinese Folk-Lore Tales. By the Rev. J. Macgowan.

Macmillan, 1910. Crown 8vo, pp. iii-l-igy. Chinese Folk-Lore. By the Rev. J. Macgowan. Shanghai :

North China Daily News and Herald, 1910. 8vo, pp. 3-1-

240.

The shelves of the student of Chinese folklore are already loaded with many volumes, — translations of written texts by Father Weiger, Prof. H. A. Giles, and others, a long row of general works from Doolittle and Dennys onward, and departmental studies, such as De Groot's great volumes on The Religious System of China, as well as books of travel and mission work which incidentally pre- serve folklore. But most travellers' and many missionaries' books record folklore in a very tantalizing manner, without clear notes of source and locality, and both these and the other works mentioned tend to produce erroneous impressions of uniformity throughout the vast area and swarming multitudes of the Middle Kingdom. What is still wanting is a record of the peculiarities of different provinces, in a series of volumes treating of particular districts, and to such a series Mr. Johnston's book is a most valuable con- tribution, as it deals in a thorough manner with the British protectorate of Wei-hai-wei. The chief exception that can be taken to its contents is that the admirable enthusiasm, which has led the author to note so carefully local practices and customs, has caused him also to devote space, which we grudge, to vehement