Imatges de pÓgina

utility have to be considered-it is eminently desirable that the conditions of preservation and arrangement should conform to principles the more readily intelligible because intelligently formulated and applied. The opportunity for this is at the outset when enthusiasm is keen and interest has not flagged; and such opportunities are easily let slip. For this reason the volume before us may well supply useful warnings as well as instructions for those engaged in a task which is often as perplexing as it is laborious. It is true that the author is sometimes as magnificent as the cook in a great Seventeenth-century household who began a receipt headed To make a Bunn' with the injunction 'Take a peck of flour,' and it is possible that a leaflet of four or eight pages giving small practical directions might prove useful to many, with a reference to the larger work for the detailed discussion of the reasons Why. But in any case this part of the volume will be found of great usefulness for its purpose and seems, so far as we can judge, to supply in outline and often in detail a solution for most of the problems likely to arise.

We have said 'this part of the volume,' for the first half of it is devoted to something which the ordinary reader might hardly expect a theory of Archives in general, with a special historical discussion of their character and development. It is a subject for which Mr. Hilary Jenkinson has peculiar qualifications, and the fact that the greater part of the examples used as illustrations are taken from the Public Archives in the Record Office makes his study one of special importance and interest. The subject is naturally approached from the standpoint of the official custodian with which that of the mere historical investigator seldom entirely coincides; and the reader will note from time to time with decently submissive amusement a recognition that there may even be circumstances in which system can be relaxed in favour of public convenience without undue damage to the public moral or disturbance to the placid course of administration. As a matter of fact a system or part of a system which cannot justify itself in the eyes of men reasonably well informed and not professionally interested in its maintenance has no right to continued existence. But it must be remembered that a perfectly valid justification may exist and yet not be immediately apparent; and if official infallibility is a doctrine now generally discredited, even critics have been known to make mistakes. We may say quite frankly that without assuming too plainly the rôle of apologist Mr. Jenkinson

has produced one of the best books that have ever been written upon this subject, and one which both in general outline and in many, perhaps in most, of its details will commend itself to reasonable men. We may wish that he had dealt with some topics even more fully and relaxed somewhat the rigour with which the scope of his Index has been confined, but the book will save any but the most casual student of history in original sources of the kind preserved in the Public Record Office hours of wasted time and possibly some serious blunders. We have not space to enter into a discussion of the author's views as to what constitutes an Archive'; he is probably right in taking a somewhat more strict definition than has always been adopted at home or abroad. For practical purposes the historical student is usually interested primarily in obtaining access to a document rather than in investigating the circumstances of its custody' e.g. the fact that the Chertsey Cartulary is No. 25 in the Miscellaneous Books of the King's Remembrancer and the date from which its present archive quality' may properly be reckoned are for him matters of secondary importance (though not therefore devoid of interest) in comparison with the facts (a) that it has been preserved, (b) that it is in the Public Record Office, and the for him irrefragable conclusion that it ought to be capable of being produced by any reference indication which its official custodians have ever assigned to it. We have chosen an example in regard to which for other reasons no difficulty is likely to arise; but there are many instances which might be quoted in which reclassification, and even the breaking-up of collections without adequate record of the change, has secured the perfecting of system at the price of the convenience of everyone, including officials, and even of the recovery of the document when again required. It is one of the points in which continental Archive collections while in theory more exacting in some particulars seem to have solved many difficulties with which students in England are still occasionally confronted owing to blunders in the past for which they at least are not responsible.

The smaller and often incidental details of technique which the book contains will be found of considerable service by those who have private collections, large or small, which they would desire to put into some kind of order. The obliging assistance of willing but unskilful friends may be rendered more valuable or at any rate controlled and directed upon the right lines by a study of it. At least they will know what to avoid. And an

Archivist who disdains to learn from another things worth considering because he disagrees upon some others even themselves considerable had better abandon a profession for which he is clearly unsuited. So that Mr. Jenkinson's work may fairly be regarded as making a general appeal to all classes of persons interested in the subject. It has the additional merit of being, apart from a rather commonplace cover, a most beautiful book in itself.


Sir Thomas Browne: Religio Medici. Edited by W. MURISON. 'Pitt Press Series.' (Cambridge University Press. 1922.) 4s. 6d.

MR. MURISON, the senior English Master at Aberdeen Grammar School, has one great qualification for editing Sir Thomas Browne, videlicet that he seems to love him, and one defect, that he considers him a proper subject for the anatomies of a schoolmaster. The 'ingenuous gentry' both of England and of Scotland may derive much profit (and quiet amusement at the same time) from reading the Religio Medici, and a good deal of instruction from the editor's notes, especially in their illustrations by way of comparison. As a new and satisfactory text the book should also receive a hearty welcome. Our only hesitation is upon the character of some of the notes and of part of the introduction. They seem designed to provide candidates in examinations with answers to unintelligent questions, such as 'Illustrate with examples Sir Thomas Browne's use of the subjunctive' or 'Collect instances of obsolete words and expressions in the Religio Medici,' or other banalities. It is better not to have read the book at all than to have been made to read it and to hate it in the process; and in any case the Religio Medici is quite unsuitable for school purposes except as a literary masterpiece read and appreciated as such in the highest form. The section on 'Browne's language gives one to wonder how far the editor has considered that Seventeenth-century printers had their conventions just as much as their successors, if with less consistent tyranny in application; and further that such acquaintance with Seventeenthcentury usage as may be gained from a wide study of manuscript evidence might induce a healthy scepticism in relation to general conclusions. If we may add one or two queries in regard to the notes, it is permissible to wonder what Sir Thomas

Browne would have said had he learnt that when he spoke of 'Hypostasis' he meant substance, actuality,' or read the editor's note upon 'elegant'; and as a dubitandum of our own whether it be not one of those accounts which are not to be swallowed at large, or entertained without all circumspection' that the spelling 'shew' as a form of the verb is 'now obsolete except in legal documents.' But many of Mr. Murison's ideas of what is obsolete are curious and his conception of 'Standard English' is strangely limited, or shall we say (in a spelling still followed in The Times newspaper) unduly parcimonious.' His book has wiled away a day or two very pleasantly, and we should be sorry to seem censorious or to argue1 the definitive sentence' of a reasonably humane Orbilius further than honesty and a decent regard for the English language compels.

The Life of Enos Nuttall, Archbishop of the West Indies. By F. CUNDALL. With a Foreword by the ARCHBISHOP OF CANTERBURY. (S.P.C.K. 1922.) 12s. net.

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'ALL that has been attempted is a simple record of the life and work of the Archbishop, based in a great measure on the diaries which he kept and the copies of his letters, over thirty-five thousand in number, filling over eighty books.' So the compiler of this book writes in his preface, and from the point of view of the interpretation which he placed upon the resolution of Synod he deserves our gratitude for discharging the task. But for those who knew Dr. Nuttall outside the West Indies the result must be disappointing. The man to whom the Archbishop of Canterbury in the Foreword which he contributes to the volume unhesitatingly assigns a place in the front rank' among all the leading Bishops of the Anglican Communion whom he has known during forty years rarely emerges from a mass of details which are necessarily part of the activities of a busy ecclesiastic in high place; and the most remarkable figure in the West Indies is concealed by the laconic brevity of his own diaries. We do not mean that the book has no value. It gives many interesting pictures in words as well as photographs of West Indian life; and if the book should go into a second edition, or if a smaller book should be possible side by side with this one, we hope that Mr. Cundall and some others will forget the diaries and try just simply to draw the picture of the man they knew.

1 P. 212. Argue: call in question, impeach, arraign-obsolete meaning.'

Louise Imogen Guiney: Her Life and Works, 1861-1920. By E. M. TENISON. (Macmillan.) 15. net.

To a reviewer who by a fortunate accident knew Miss Guiney, this is a very pleasant book to read, and calls back many an arduous quest in fields of Sixteenth and Seventeenth century literature little explored even by professional students. A New Englander, daughter of General Guiney, who fought on the side of the Union in more than thirty engagements, and died at forty-two, she found the first outlet for the expression of considerable gifts in poems which deserve to be better known. Lincoln and Grant were heroes to her always, and her sympathies of course were with the winning side in the Civil War; but in literary pursuits her sympathies became increasingly engaged in the search for genius neglected or obscured. To this both temperament and religion contributed temperament, because nothing so much appealed to her as the unconquerable soul; religion, because among those who suffered under the Penal laws against Roman Catholics were many in whom she rightly discerned religious genius.

'Difficulties and disappointments pursued her,' says Miss Tenison the very qualities which make her work of permanent interest made it often far from easy to place at the moment.'

The writer can well remember that his own interest was first attracted many years ago by reading in an American magazine, not otherwise important, occasional articles which seemed to breathe the rarer spirit of religious poetry. Of herself Miss Guiney wrote, that anyone who knows me knows that I could as soon play the oboe as get a grasp on narrative.' That remains to be proved, for she could write quite admirable sketches. And as we lay aside the book we cannot help wondering whether it will be proved or not. At the time of her death Miss Guiney had spent the best and most fruitful years of her life on two books-one in conjunction with Fr. Geoffrey Bliss, S.J., on Recusant Poets, 1535-1735'; the other on Henry Vaughan, Silurist,' with Miss Gwenllian Morgan. Both embody the results of genuine research with many new discoveries. If either or both of them be complete they ought, even in these days of exorbitant prices, to find a publisher; for it is tragic waste that when work has once been done by a competent and enthusiastic student, it should later have to be done again by someone else.

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