British Race Types of To-Day

The Times (October 1887)

Sir,– The interesting article on "The British Race-Types of Today" in The Times of this day contains a statement which appears to me to be somewhat misleading. The writer says that, "For a generation or more the advocates of the view that the English are almost unmixed Teutons pressed their ideas upon the scientific and literary world with a persistence and learning which went far to produce conviction."

I cannot answer for the literary world; but, to the best of my knowledge, neither the persistence nor the learning of the advocates of this baseless notion produced the slightest effect upon scientific anthropologists. A score of years ago this question was hotly debated; and I do not think that, at that time, any of my anthropological colleagues would have found much fault with the propositions laid down in a paper, "On Some Fixed Points of British Ethnology," which was published in 1871, which propositions are in substance corroborated by the writer of your article. And, at that time, I drew a practical conclusion which may not be without its application at the present moment.–

"And further, if we turn to the inhabitants of the western half of Ireland, why should the term 'Celts' be applied to them more than to the inhabitants of Cornwall? And if the name is applicable in the one as justly as to the other, why should not intelligence, perseverance, thrift, industry, sobriety, respect for law be admitted to be Celtic virtues? And why should we not seek for the cause of their absence in something else than the idle protest of 'Celtic blood'?"


C. Blinderman & D. Joyce
Clark University