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A Study in Conditions of Human Nurture1

Nature volume 101, pages 205206 (16 May 1918) | Download Citation



THE Carnegie United Kingdom Trust did the nation a good turn when it secured reports on the existing provision for promoting the physical welfare of mothers and young children in England and Wales, Scotland, and Ireland. The third volume, now before us, is by Dr. Leslie Mackenzie, and deals with Scotland. It is a very important human document, compiled with conspicuous scientific insight and unusual literary skill. It is not only well-planned, lucid, telling—it rises on appropriate occasions to a high level of art. We do not mean that there are purple passages, but something much subtler—that the author, in dealing with the intricacies of the human web of life and the often tragic clash of the human struggle for existence, has at strategic points attained to an impressive cadence and solemn dignity of diction which appeal to us as congruent with the urgency and seriousness of the problems discussed. That artist and man of feeling should persist in a busy administrator is wonder enough, but our admiration grows as we realise the firm scientific grip and the fresh insight which the half-hundred chapters disclose. We should like to illustrate this by various examples.


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    "Scottish Mothers and Children: Being a Report on the Physical Welfare of Mothers and Children.” Vol. iii., "Scotland.” By . Pp. xxviii + 632; with a 2 maps, 6 charts, and many illustrations. (East Port, Dunfermline: The Carnegie United Kingdom Trust, 1917.)

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