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Chadwick, M. (1927). Racial Origins of English Character: By R. N. Bradley. (George Allen & Unwin. 1926. Pp. 185. Price 6 s. net.). Int. J. Psycho-Anal., 8:296-297.

(1927). International Journal of Psycho-Analysis, 8:296-297

Racial Origins of English Character: By R. N. Bradley. (George Allen & Unwin. 1926. Pp. 185. Price 6 s. net.)

Review by:
M. Chadwick

From chapter to chapter we are led to believe that ultimately we shall be given, not only a full account of the Racial Origins of the English character, but also an explanation of the psychology of the English race. This promise, however, is not actually kept. We certainly find the word psychology sprinkled about here and there, sweeping statements are made, often of a truly remarkable character, but which are unaccompanied by any explanatory psychological data. This happens repeatedly; a comprehensive generalization is made, but without authority being given for so doing. Occasionally we should like to be shown the steps by which the author has arrived at his conclusions, otherwise one is apt to suspect that in his statements may be found merely the formulation of personal prejudices.

The psychology of the Englishman of a certain type declares itself indirectly, and incidentally shows the preference of the author, which becomes more apparent from a careful analysis of the informal evidence of which the book is full, as well as that of personal anecdote. All sources of information, direct and indirect, scientific data and casual remarks, are given equal weight with proven facts, and are used to account for many of the foundations of the book. There is no doubt on the part of the author that the world-races have all contributed their best for the production of the Nordic race, in his eyes, the ideal Englishmen. We find pæans of adulation in this strain, and here only do we lose sight of the constant undercurrent of minor contradictions that are so irritating elsewhere.

As an instance of a statement requiring some explanation, we will quote the following passage: p. 62, 'But the Nordic is not like this. He has no Oedipus Complex and, as to Fate, the Nordic English boy has been compared to Aladdin, the favourite of fortune, especially if he passes through Eton and Balliol'.

It would be particularly interesting to know what the author means to imply by this statement.

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