Manx Antiquities, by P. M. C. Kermode, F.S.A., Scotland, and W. A. Herdman, D.Sc., F.R.S. Liverpool University Press, 1914. Price 3/-
We gladly welcome a new edition of this useful and interesting handbook to the Antiquities of the Isle of Mann. It is practically a new work, for not only is it half as long again as the last edition and more fully illustrated, but it has been entirely re-written and con-tains much new matter, the result of work done since the first edition was published. There is a useful index, and the headlines add much to its clearness. The writers have been able to avail themselves of the additional knowledge gained by the investigations of the Natural History and Antiquarian Society, of which one of them is President and the other Secretary. Thus the excellent account of Castle Rushen, contributed by the late Mr. Rigby to the Proceedings of the Society (New Series, Vol. I. No. 7), has been summarized, embodying as it does the result of the careful and scientific examination of the structure which has been carried out by our Governor, Lord Raglan, to whom the present edition is dedicated. Again, since the first edition was published, the keeills of the Island have been exhaustively studied and the results made known in the Reports of the Manx Archæological Survey on which the descriptions of them in the book are founded.
The account of the curious circle of Tritaphs which, it appears, was really the origin of this little work, is added to, and illustrated by good plans and several figures. This unique monument is most difficult to date, and the authors are no doubt right in regarding it as a work of the Transition period between the Neolithic and Bronze Ages. For the arguments which are clearly and fairly set forth we must refer our readers to their pages. We note that a description is now given of the fortification on the Cronk Howe Mooar, that great mound in the morass near Rushen church which the authors have been the first to examine.
Many crosses and inscribed stones have come to light since the publication of the first edition and are described in the present one, and illustrated by a new series of figures expressly drawn for the purpose. We see that the Knock y Doonee bi-lingual inscription is given, but not a figure of the pillar stone of which, how-ever, good views are published in the Sixth Report of the Manx Museum and Ancient Monuments Trustees (Figs. 23, 24). The latest of these discoveries is referred to, namely the rune-inscribed cross-slab from Maughold on which, for the first time, we find carved a Viking Ship. The Ship is figured on the cover. It is by permission of the authors reproduced, and an account of it by one of them appears on page 178 of this present number of MANNIN. As showing that the latest discoveries have not been passed over, we remark a note on the work begun by Mr. Cubbon at Rushen Abbey, where it seems likely that the complete plan of the Cistercian Monastery, if not also an earlier one, may be recovered. Besides giving a full account of all these things, the book serves to direct attention to other an-tiquities, concerning which we have no knowledge and thus to suggest to workers lines of future research. With regard for instance to the latest of the prehistoric periods, it is a most remarkable fact that so far there is no direct evidence of the Iron Age in the Isle of Mann. The authors conclude their book with the hope that what they have written may help to further the establishment of a well equipped insular museum, a hope which we most cordially echo. Every year that passes sees our Island deprived of relics of the past which are the only Possible evidence and illustrations of our early history and of our social and racial conditions. These things can never be replaced and the lack of such a museum, with a surer method of preserving what few monuments stiil remain to us, is growing to be a crying shame to the island.
Essays and Studies. Presented to William Ridgeway, D.Sc., LL.D., Litt.D., F.B.A., on his Sixtieth Birthday. Edited by E. C. Quiggin, M.A., Ph. D. 251- net. Cambridge Press.
This collection of scholarly essays, studies, and poems, was written and published by fifty friends of Professor Ridgeway, and presented to him on his sixtieth birthday. It is ably edited by Dr. E. C. Quiggin, Professor of Celtic Philology in the University of Cambridge, and particularly interesting to our readers as being a Manxman. Each contributor to the book, being an authority on his own subject, has produced a small masterpiece. A wide range of subjects is covereda Greek poem by Mr. John Harrower, is followed by an English one by Mr. A. D. Godley ; Professor Flinders Petrie writes on "Some Royal Signets," Mr. S. A. Cooke on "The Evolution and Survival of Primitive Thought" and so forth. It is indeed a unique birthday present.
Miss Madeline Nugent, the promising young Irish writer, daughter of Captain Nugent of Bride, and niece of Miss Julia Crottie, the Irish novelist, has already had great success as a writer of Manx stories for American and Irish magazines. A critic in an American paper says : "The fascination of Miss Nugents tales of the Manx fishermen will be conceded by all." Miss Nugent is about to bring out her short stories in collected form and they will be sure of a warm welcome.
It was announced in our last number that an Anglo-Manx Vocabulary compiled by the late A. W. Moore, M.A., C.V.O., Speaker of the House of Keys, with the assistance of S. Morrison and E. Goodwin, would be published if sufficient subscribers were willing to pay 15/-net for the book. Although the work is of undoubted interest to students of dialects generally, and of the Manx Language in particular, the promises hitherto received do not justify publication, which will have to be abandoned unless more support is assured. Prospectuses may be obtained from Mr. Humphrey Milford, Oxford University Press, through any bookseller.
Mr. H. Percy Kellys little Manx Primer, No. 1, (price 3d.), a translation from the irish Primer by Norma Borthwick, with the charming illustrations by Mr. Jack Yeats, which we have kindly been allowed to reproduce from the Irish Primer, is now out, and will be followed shortly by Nos. II and III. It will prove very useful, we are sure, to beginners in Manx. Mr. Kelly has done the work well and the booklet is meant to be worked by the Direct Method. One would like to see the little book in the hands of all the children of the Island. Most parents know enough of the old tongue to act as guides to the pronunciation.
Mr. Goodwins First Lessons in Manx" (price 1/-), which can now again be obtained, the remainder of the first edition having been acquired from Dr. Fournier dAlbe, will also prove a boon to Manx students.
Of Mr. Alfred Perceval Graves new book, "Irish Literary and Musical Studies" (Elkin Matthews), it is necessary to say little more than that it is worthy of its author. The sketches of Irish men of lettersMangan, Ferguson, Allinghain, Le Fanu, and others, are excellent; and the character study of George Petrie is delightful, both in its humanity and as a fine piece of writing. The essays on Celtic poetry at different stages and from various points of view are most interesting and enlightening, particularly those on the nature poetry of the Celts, and the element of enchantment in early Irish poetry. Mr. Perceval Graves illustrates his conclusions with many of his own translations of Irish poems, translations which give a vivid idea of the glamour and romance of the inspired originals. Incidentally he has a good deal to say about the efforts made both before and after the existence of Folk Lore Societies to collect and preserve old folk songs. The account of Mr. W. H. Gills method of "colloguing a tune" out of an old man, will be especially interesting to Manx readers.
In her most interesting and fascinating book "Rustic Speech and Folk Lore"(Humphrey Milford), Mrs. Joseph Wright makes a general survey of English dialects. Even to the uninitiated it is entertaining, and that it is scholarly goes without saying. Mrs. Wright makes mention several times of Manx dialect and folk lore. She cites such words and expressions as randyvous, loggats, child for girl, agate o, painted lady (sweet pea), and so forth, which we have in common with other districts ; she quotes our form of expression with its in-version of verb and adjective, when special stress is required, "the sick I am, "the mad she was, "the happy they feel inside," as being peculiar to the Island, and writes at some length upon the Tarroo-ushtey, upon the custom of Hunting the Wren, and upon the superstition which holds that daffodils should not he plucked till goslings are hatched. She writes too of the Buggane and the Fenodyree. As regards this last it is to be noted that Mrs. Wright calls him "A fallen fairy," banished from fairyland for courtinga girl in Glen Rushen. This is not the generally accepted view of him in the Island and it would be interesting to know more of it. The well known story of the Fenodyree and the clothes is current, it seems in the south of England, where it varies slightly from our version and is told of a pixy. We are proud of numbering Professor Joseph Wright amongst our Life Members.