Page:Folk-lore - A Quarterly Review. Volume 4, 1893.djvu/277

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Vol IV.]
[No. III.


THE first word anyone interested in folk-tales must say about Miss Roalfe Cox's remarkable volume of variants of Cinderella is one of congratulation. Her industry is scarcely more conspicuous than her taste. It required both tact and knowledge to pick out in the more elaborate analyses of the tales just those points of the original that deserved particular attention, and at every stage Miss Cox has shown that knowledge and tact. Then again, Miss Cox has obviously kept herself free from any parti pris, and her collection is thus absolutely and scientifically impartial in its tone and arrangement. We of the Folk-lore Society required a collection of variants of a single folk-tale "radicle" that should be tolerably complete, absolutely impartial, and conveniently arranged. We have got it.

I cannot say that we are altogether happy now that we have got our ideal collection. In the first place, it has become clear that some international plan must be arrived at for such a collection. It is impossible for a single person, however loyally assisted, as was Miss Cox, to cope with a problem which is essentially international. Even for the British Isles, Miss Cox has failed, as we shall see, in making her collection exhaustive of matter already printed, while the remarkable variant contributed at the last moment by Mr. Macleod (Cinderella, p. 534) will serve