Open main menu

Page:Folk-lore - A Quarterly Review. Volume 8, 1897.djvu/293

This page needs to be proofread.


Reviews. 269

326-8 (unfortunately we have no space to quote the passage), where the possibility of relieving congested districts by emigration is con- sidered.

Mr. Crooke's style leaves, in general, little to be desired. He contrives to make statistics interesting — a proverbially difficult task^ — and his remarks are full of shrewdness and humour. His accounts of the indigenous tribes are of course only summaries ; but a careful summary is what students, bewildered by the endless variety of castes and tribes, often want to give form to their various conceptions. Still more is it necessary to " the general reader," whom the author has continually, and perhaps chiefly, in view. A summary has its defects, as when we find it stated that the Korwas have "practically no prohibited degrees in marriage," which Mr. Crooke can hardly have intended Hterally; but defects of this kind are unavoidable and cause little inconvenience to the student.

The map and the plates, reproducing photographs of native types, are most useful.

The Popular Religion and Folklore of Northern India. By W. Crooke, B.A. 2 vols. New Edition. Westminster : Archibald Constable & Co., 1896.

It was very desirable that a worthy edition of Mr. Crooke's work on the popular religion of Northern India should be produced. The previous edition, printed at Allahabad, was by no means so well known as it deserved in this country. In the volumes before us we have it in a large measure re-written, in paper, type, and form pleasant to read and handy to hold, and illustrated from photo- graphs taken at and in the neighbourhood of Hardwar, which not only are in themselves of interest, but also throw real light on the text.

Mr. Crooke rightly insists, at the threshold of the work, on the composite character of modern Hinduism, and points out its re- semblance in this respect to the religion of ancient Rome, as the Romans gradually became the masters of the Mediterranean basin and extended their dominion inland in all directions among peoples with widely differing forms of religion. It is difficult for us to form an adequate notion of the extent to which Hinduism is a still living faith. We have shredded off so many of the superstitions of