Page:Folk-lore - A Quarterly Review. Volume 17, 1906.djvu/400

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384 Reviews.

shepherdess, Marion, of the French pastourelles and of Adan de la Hale's famous play, who is transferred from the imported French to the English May-game (i. 176). It is, by the way, hard on the Robin Hood ballads to call them "minstrelsy of a somewhat debased type " ; they are, in their golden age, far better stuff than most of the English rhymed romances of the professional minstrels.

I have used up my space and said nothing of the third and fourth books, which treat of the liturgical drama and its off- shoots. They are of less direct interest for these pages. Mr. Chambers's is, however, by far the most thorough treatment extant of the subject, which is not so much the Hterary connexions, and still less the literary quality, of the miracles and moralities, as their clerical and other origins, and the conditions on which they were founded. Many of the capital documents on the whole matter are given or referred to. The appendices, which fill half of the second volume, are most welcome. The lists, the most extensive yet published, of the places of representation of mediaeval plays, and of the texts and editions, show the groundwork of the whole study. Of the chapters I can simply give the titles; "Liturgical Plays"; "The Secularization of the Plays"; "Guild Plays and Parish Plays"; "Moralities, Puppet-Plays, and Pageants" (in which the links with folk- drama reappear) ; " Players of Interludes " ; " Humanism and Mediaevalism." I hope the work may be followed by that other one which the author began by projecting, "about Shakespeare and the conditions, literary and dramatic, under which Shakespeare wrote." Oxford, as Mr. Chambers says, left us to teach ourselves method, of the rigid, serried, foreign type; but perhaps there are compensations for the delay in the larger and freer culture which animates such a book as


Oliver Elton.

Books for Review should be addressed to The Editor of Folk-Lore c/o David Nutt, 57-59 Long Acre, London.