Page:Folk-lore - A Quarterly Review. Volume 17, 1906.djvu/541

This page needs to be proofread.

Reviews. 503

sons ; revival by means of blood ; trees springing from the grave ; the separable soul ; falling in love with a lock of hair ; helpful animals ; shape-shifting, and so on.

Mrs. Dracott has obviously acquired the knack of making friends with native women, the best story-tellers, and she tells her stories simply and effectively. But at this stage of her career as a collector she would be well advised to undertake a systematic study of the printed materials. She would thus be enabled to make a more careful selection from the stores at her command, to detect the traces of foreign contamination of the indigenous folk-lore, and so to make her next book more novel and interesting to serious students of the subject.

W. Crooke.

The Childhood of Fiction. By J. A. MacCulloch. London: John Murray, 1905.

In this new introduction to the study of folk-tales Mr. MacCulloch closely follows the methods employed by Mr. Hartland in his well-known Science of Fairy Tales. Much additional material has been collected, but the principles and conclusions of the earlier writer remain undisturbed. The present book is an attempt to survey the more irrational incidents of folk-tales and to interpret them by the methods of what is now called the "Anthropological School." The author shows that " the key which unlocks their meaning is found in the beliefs and practices of past ages, exemplified still in those of modern savages." He thus follows in his analysis of story cycles a truly scientific method, and he is, as will be seen from the long list of authorities which he has consulted, and to which copious references are given in the footnotes, well equipped for such an arduous undertaking. It would be easy to show that he has not explored some of the byways of storiology, but he does not pretend to quote all the variants