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Page:Folk-lore - A Quarterly Review. Volume 8, 1897.djvu/295

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Reviews. 271

in anthropology, and especially in the department of folklore. So much was abundantly evident in the original edition. Valuable as that was, the present edition, by its large additions and by the application to Indian problems of the theories and suggestions of scientific students at home, is more valuable still. The author does not accept every theory formulated tentatively by inquirers who never came into actual contact with a savage people. He brings to bear upon them the light of his own experience, and often either denies their applicability to the peoples of India or suggests alternative explanations. At other times he contents himself with stating two or three rival theories without pronouncing definitely between them. We could have wished in many of these cases that he had pronounced for one or other, because his judgment would have carried weight. As a collection of material Mr. Crooke's work offers on every page authentic facts of the highest value. The chapter-headings do not convey a notion of a tithe of the wealth it contains, for incidentally the writer is led to discuss many ceremonies and superstitions for which one would hardly think of looking without the assistance of the sub-headings, and these are not given in the tables of contents. The references to parallel customs and beliefs in other parts of the world are helpful to the student, while they render the volumes more attrac- tive to "the general reader" by perpetually reminding him that what the author is describing is not an isolated and inexplicable phenomenon of no consequence, but one which is dependent upon some principle of human thought, since it appears again and again elsewhere.

We have detected a trifling error on p. 209 of vol. ii. The fable of the ass in the panther's skin does not appear in the fifth, but in the fourth, book of the Panchatantra.

A useful bibliography and a good index conclude the work.