Open main menu

Page:Notes and Queries - Series 12 - Volume 10.djvu/462

This page needs to be proofread.


380 NOTES AND QUERIES. [12 s. x. MAY 13, 1922. on The Cambridge Medieval History. Vol. III. : Germany and the Western Empire. (Cam- bridge University Press. 2 10s. net.) THIS volume takes the history of medieval Europe from the death of Charlemagne to the end of the eleventh century. It thus represents one of the more formidable passages of the whole enterprise. On the one hand, a few well-defined ideas concerning religion, government, and the nature of society gather force as the generations advance, and are seen everywhere with pro- gressive dominance moulding the minds and impressing the customs of the population. On the other hand, the external history of these centuries presents a scene of such apparently meaningless and fruitless change, of such unending confusion and pitiless strife, that memory boggles at the multitude of necessary details, and the imagination, besides being revolted by so much violence, can only with great difficulty relate the wild story to its inner principles. Such conditions make the requisite selection from the mass of material, and then the handling of the selected facts in narrative, doubly laborious. We should say that, on the whole, the contributors to this volume so far as their work in it is concerned are more highly to be esteemed for their unques- tionable competence as historians than for their success in setting out their material to advantage. There is too little relief, whether in the mere verbal style of many of the articles, or in the presentation of facts and characters. The great men of these days are seen embedded in detail, like a portrait by Guevara of a person closely surrounded by his possessions. In both cases it is not to be denied that actual life so presents people to us but, when the object of fixing atten- tion upon a man is to make some real acquaintance with him, a measure of isolating convention becomes almost indispensable. It may, of course, be argued that character studies should be pursued elsewhere, the purpose of this *history being mainly the great course of events ; but in the first place, where general European history is concerned, there is not really much English work to which a student can be sent for the purpose, and, secondly, some revision of old estimates has taken place which it would have been instructive to have discussed. Brilliant as many of these pages are, they would have gained something if, in their composition, the artist had borne a more frequent part with the scholar. A word must be said in appreciation of the Introduction, which brings out principles and lines of development, and sets up requisite generalizations which the chapters themselves omit. For the history of the Western Carlovingian kingdoms and the beginnings of the kingdom of France, recourse has been had to foreign his- torians to Prof. Rene Poupardin of Paris for the earlier, and to Prof. Louis Halphen of Bor- deaux for the later period and for the story of the kingdom of Bordeaux. Mr. Previte-Orton takes Italy, and Mr. Austin Lane Poole Germany to the death of Otto III. and the reign of Conrad II., Henry II. falling to Mr. Holthouse. Miss Ryley provides the chapter on Henry III. Professor Mawer gives the account of the Vikings, and Mr. W. J. Corbett provides the two chapters on English history. Dr. Baf ael Altamira of Madrid is responsible for the history of Muslim Spain. The remaining chapters will probably be of greater interest to general readers than the historical narratives enumerated thus far -they are Pro- fessor Halphen's study of developments in the Church from Charlemagne to Sylvester II. ; Sir Paul Vinogradoff's Feudalism ; the two delightful chapters on the learning and literature of the period by Dr. M. B. James, and Professor Lethaby's able and scholarly interpretation of the Byzantine and Romanesque arts. THE Publisher particularly requires a copy of the Index to ' N. & Q., ' 11 S. i. Would any subscriber having a spare copy kindly communi- cate ? CORRIGENDA. Snt J. LANGDON BONYTHON. In our number for Jan. 21 of the present year occurs a mention of our valued correspondent Sir J. Langdon Bonython as ** the late." We are rejoiced to receive protest and correction as to these two words. Sir Langdon is by no means " the late," but still among us, and engaged in the many activities by which his friends and his fellow- countrymen, so well know him. Indeed, it may be his very public spirit which has brought this upon him ; for it has been suggested to us that the correspondent who too hastily promoted him perhaps took his recent munificent gift of 40,000 to Adelaide University to be a bequest. We would beg Sir Langdon Bonython and, even more, his friends to accept our apologies. THE " HAND AND PEN " (ante, p. 293). MR- E. E. NEWTON will see, if he refers to my articles on the pseudonym " Jacob Larwood " (12 S. vii. 441 ; viii. 508), that " Larwood's " real name was Herman Diederik Joan van Schevichaven. Jaco- bus Larwood van Schevichaven was the name of a seventeenth-century ancestor (voorzaat). Oxford. LAWRENCE F. POWELL. to Correspondent*. EDITORIAL communications should be addressed to " The Editor of ' Notes and Queries ' " Adver- tisements and Business Letters to " The Pub- lisher " at the Office, Printing House Square, London, B.C. 4 ; corrected proofs to The Editor,

  • N. & Q.,' Printing House Square, London, E.C.4.

AT/T. communications intended for insertion in our columns should bear the name and address of the sender not necessarily for publication, but as a guarantee of good faith. WE cannot undertake to answer queries privately. WHEN answering a query, or referring to an article which has already appeared, correspondents are requested to give within parentheses immediately after the exact heading the numbers of the series, volume, and page at which the con- tribution in question is to be found.