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Courtship with a Club: wife-capture in prehistoric fiction, 1865-1914.


Supposedly, when a Stone Age man was ready to mate, he would ambush a woman from another tribe, beat her senseless with his club, and drag her back to his cave by the hair. This scenario, which might be referred to as the motif of 'wife-capture', is one that metaphorically still informs sexual politics today, and remains a characteristic of the popular cultural stereotype of the 'Cave Man'. But since there is absolutely no physical, anthropological evidence whatever to indicate that our Palaeolithic ancestors behaved thus, how did the motif arise, and how has it and related aspects of Stone Age sexual politics been negotiated in and disseminated by prehistoric science fiction?


'I say, you fellows, have you considered if--well, if the girls will like us?' 'They'll like us all right', said Oswald grimly, as he trimmed the knob of a three-foot shillelagh. (1)

It is a truth universally acknowledged that a caveman in want of a wife would creep up behind his chosen victim, stun her with a blow of his club, and drag her back to his cave by the hair. 'Courtship with a Club', a phrase borrowed from P. G. Wodehouse, neatly encapsulates this motif 's uncomfortable mixture of violence and farce. Since at least the 1920s, popular culture has exploited the comic potential in the crude mating habits imputed to our troglodytic ancestors. In the Stone Age segment of Buster Keaton's first feature film The Three Ages (1923), a parody of D.W. Griffith's Intolerance, Keaton defeats his burly male rival (Wallace Beery) and drags off his rapturous prize (Margaret Leahy) by the hair. A photograph taken at the centenary pageant of the Liverpool and Manchester Railway in 1930 shows a caveman dragging his victim by her hair past a watching pantomime dinosaur; apparently this tableau was the first in a series describing transport through the ages. (2) For more than seventy years New Yorker cartoonists have turned out variations on the theme. In 1934 Leonard Dove's caveman pulls aside the hair obscuring the face of the unconscious woman he has just dragged into his cave and gasps, 'Cripes, it's the wife!'. In 2002 Danny Shanahan's gay caveman drags a grinning victim by his hair past a watching straight couple; the wife remarks to her disapproving husband, 'Can't you just be happy for them?'. (3)

Wife-Capture in Victorian Anthropology

The origin of Courtship with a Club can be traced to Primitive Marriage: An Inquiry into the Origin of the Form of Capture in Marriage Ceremonies (1865) by the Scottish-born lawyer John F. McLennan. To call McLennan an armchair anthropologist whose theory of wife-capture has been wholly discredited would be true, if a little unjust to a courageous and influential thinker. McLennan, accepting the novel and radical theory of the great antiquity of mankind, set himself the problem of discovering from what original ('primitive') (4) conditions Victorian courtship and marriage customs might have evolved. McLennan shared with Charles Darwin, Herbert Spencer, and many other contemporary evolutionists the belief that the history of all peoples ('races') was 'the history of a progress from the savage state'. (5) To McLennan, progressionism seemed logically to imply that, if civilized sexual relations were typified by monogamous marriage, then the most primitive people ('savages') must have lived in a state that was the polar opposite of middle-class matrimony, namely, one of total promiscuity. Thanks to the influence of Charles Lyell, whose uniformitarian geology had first opened up the vistas of deep time, Victorian evolutionists tended to think in gradualist terms. They assumed that the period between promiscuity and monogamy would have seen slowly elaborating systems of polyandry or polygamy, as the most primitive human social group (the 'horde') evolved towards its culmination in the modern nation state. (6)

McLennan, like many of his ideologically liberal contemporaries, was a universalist who believed that racial differences were less significant than the qualities shared by all members of the human species. While he accepted that in his own time 'a really primitive people in fact exists nowhere', (7) nevertheless the study of 'modern savages', that is, those unfortunate living races whose progress had been retarded by adverse circumstances, could offer insights into how civilized people had formerly behaved. Moreover, in an anticipation of the theory of survivals elaborated in E. B. Tylor's Primitive Culture (1871), (8) McLennan argued that traces of actual savage practices were still evident in symbolic form in his own society. With circular logic, he then noted that these symbolic traces, viewed as figuratively 'fossilized' behaviour, were strong evidence of the existence of the ancestral practices.

Of prehistoric society, McLennan noted that 'before the invention of the arts, and the formation of provident habits, the struggle for existence must often have become very serious'. Indeed, McLennan, child of the Pax Britannica, by progressionist logic concluded that the savage horde must have lived in a state of perpetual war with its neighbours. In this context, savages would have viewed sons as additions to the horde's martial strength in the perpetual bellum omnium contra omnes; daughters, by contrast, represented only weakness and dependency. Consequently, in a Hobbesian state of nature, female infanticide was universally practised, prehistoric savages supposedly lacking any ability to foresee one serious consequence of this habit: a scarcity of women to ensure the horde's reproductive survival. This scarcity in turn increased the dangers to the horde associated with inbreeding, against which 'the primitive instinct of the race' recoiled. At the same time, the progressive tendency of all races ensured that all societies moved (albeit at different speeds) from a matrilineal kinship system that recognized only the mother-child bond, to the patriarchal system in which a wife is her husband's monopolized property. (This latter system, the mid-Victorian sexual-political status quo, was held by progressionist anthropologists to be the rock upon which civilization was founded.) The solution to the threat of social retrogression posed by incest was a system of 'exogamy'--a term invented by McLennan--according to which men were constrained to seek wives from outside their own horde. (9) As hordes lived in a state of war with their neighbours, peaceable matrimonial arrangements were out of the question: exogamy necessitated wife-capture.

In the nineteenth century it was an ethnological truism that among the 'lowest' of modern savages (that is, those most unlike Victorian gentlemen in behaviour) were the Australian Aborigines. (10) By the logic deriving from the assumption that the Victorians were the most advanced race, the Aborigines were considered likely to resemble the Victorians' prehistoric ancestors in behaviour. Citing an 1805 account, McLennan notes that among Aborigines, 'when a man sees a woman whom he likes, he tells her to follow him, and when she refuses, he forces her to accompany him by blows, ending by knocking her down and carrying her off '. McLennan later quotes a more recent ethnological report: if a young Australian warrior can find 'no eligible damsel' in his own tribe, then he hovers round the encampment of some other blacks until he gets an opportunity of seizing one of their leubras [women] [...]. His mode of paying his addresses is simple and efficacious. With a blow of his nulla-nulla (war-club), he stuns the object of his 'affections', and drags her insensible body away to some retired spot, whence, as soon as she recovers her senses, he brings her home to his own gunyah [shelter].

A subsequent passage, describing how pairs of Aborigine warriors would sometimes creep into a camp where their victim was sleeping, suggests a source for the 'hair' element of the modern Courtship with a Club motif:

one of the intruders stretches out his spear, and inserts its barbed point amongst her thick flowing locks; turning the spear slowly round, some of her hair speedily becomes entangled with it; then, with a sudden jerk, she is aroused from her slumber, and as her eyes open, she feels the sharp point of another weapon pressed against her throat. (11)

Certainly, this scenario is vivid and dramatic: a naked warrior stalking his unwitting victim, a violent attack, a sudden brutal abduction from home and family to the shelter of a stranger. But equally vivid and dramatic, or more so, is the passage by J. G. Frazer in the opening pages of The Golden Bough depicting the murderer-priest of Nemi prowling the sacred Arician grove. (12) Why has Frazer's tableau, highly influential on the cultural production of the modernist period, not given rise to an equivalent popular-cultural motif? The answer, I think, is that wife-capture is tinged with an uncanny primal eroticism that survives most attempts to deny, ironize, or mock it. Indeed, wife-capture taps into a deep psychological well regardless of the quality of the specific treatment of the scenario. McLennan was able to convince those of his contemporaries who accepted they had cave-dwellers for ancestors that wife-capture was the seed out of which grew the imposing and respectable bulk of their family trees. And although his theory is no longer anthropologically valid, some remnant of its psychological appeal even now remains in the facetious shape of Courtship with a Club. But why was McLennan's theory so convincing?

Most educated Victorians, before they would fully subscribe to Darwinian theories of human descent, demanded a 'missing link'--for example, a fossilized pithecanthropus--as proof that ape had become man. Aware of genteel resistance to his theory of the universal prehistoric practice of wife-capture, McLennan provided evidence of intermediate stages between it and Victorian marriage, evidence familiar to his professional male contemporaries from their classical education. His first missing link was provided by the legend of the rape of the Sabine women best known from Livy's History of Rome (c. 24 BCE); (13) paintings of this scenario had long been part of the Western iconic repertoire. (14) The legend described how the founders of Rome, needing wives, captured them by trickery from a neighbouring tribe. For the Victorians, who considered the founders of Rome to be the forefathers of their own civilization, the Sabine scenario had an indisputably fundamental cultural status. McLennan's second link in the chain of evidence derived from a passage in Plutarch's 'Life of Romulus' in which the historian, writing about Roman marriage, observed: 'It is a custom still observed for the bride not to go over the threshold of her husband's house herself, but to be carried over [...], because the Sabine virgins did not go in voluntarily, but were carried in by violence'. (15) The survival of this custom into nineteenth-century England was strong evidence to those who accepted McLennan's premise that the earliest ancestors of Victorian civilization had actually practised what progress had slowly transformed into a symbolic ritual.

Darwin gave McLennan's theory a qualified endorsement in The Descent of Man (1871). He found that its strength lay in the argument that 'almost all civilised nations still retain some traces of such rude habits as the forcible capture of wives'; for example, the best man in modern weddings could well have originated as 'the chief abettor of the bridegroom in the act of capture'. Darwin also found that a system of prehistoric wife-capture supported his own view that men had used their physical dominance over women to appropriate to themselves the power of sexual selection that female animals usually have in nature. (16) However, as his theory of human sexual selection depended on the idea that men selected women chiefly for beauty, Darwin preferred the modification of McLennan's idea proposed by John Lubbock in The Origin of Civilisation (1870). In Lubbock's view, wife-capture was the cause of exogamy, and by extension of Victorian monogamous marriage, not its effect as McLennan had argued. Lubbock believed that because women in the savage horde were held in common by men, an exclusive love relationship between one man and one woman, the foundation of civilized marriage, could never develop. It was only after a warrior brought back to the horde a woman he had captured elsewhere that he might claim to possess her exclusively; and warriors tended to capture and spare only those women whom they found particularly attractive. Lubbock viewed the appropriation of 'the fairest captives' by Agamemnon and Achilles in the Iliad as well as Paris's abduction of Helen herself as evidence for his theory; accordingly, he offered these famous classical episodes as plausible missing links in his chain of evidence. (17)

What of McLennan's views today? His modern editor is unequivocal: 'McLennan was almost entirely wrong' about a universal system of prehistoric wife-capture, while his contemporaries like Lubbock were equally misguided in their revisions of his arguments. (18) George W. Stocking, indeed, suggests that McLennan's theory of wife-capture was 'largely a fantasy of the Victorian male anthropological imagination', an imagination that also gave rise to such now discredited concepts as promiscuity, matriarchy, female infanticide, and polyandry as universal stages of primitive human life. (19) As an anthropologist, McLennan should still be viewed as an original thinker who offered 'the first really systematic attempt to make a comparative study of primitive societies' and who introduced concepts such as exogamy and endogamy that remain viable today. (20) As another of McLennan's (albeit indirect) legacies is the popular-cultural motif of Courtship with a Club, we should try to understand how wife-capture evolved into it rather than simply fading away like other superannuated hypotheses. We need, in fact, to consider more closely what 'fantasy of the Victorian male anthropological imagination' might have been expressed via the theory of systematic prehistoric wife-capture, because the persistence of Courtship with a Club suggests that the fantasy continues today.

For progressionist Victorians, the wife-capture scenario doubly affirmed the sexual status quo, and hinted in a usefully admonitory way at the persistence in their civilization of 'savage' desire. Moreover, it was a sexual fantasy, born of anxiety about shifting gender roles, that could be rationalized eugenically. When contrasted with genteel Victorian courtship, uncouth wife-capture affirmed that 'the order of nature' was indeed progressive, namely, 'the ruder gives birth to the less rude, not the less rude to the ruder'. (21) Furthermore, the institutionalization of wife-capture also signified progress in that it was a system superior to what it replaced, that is, the anarchy of primal incestuous promiscuity in which a woman was subject sexually to any man in her own horde strong enough to subdue her. As wife-capture involved the appropriation of a non-consanguineous woman by a man for the purpose of reproduction and tribal continuity, it was a mark of cultural, even moral, improvement over primeval sexual savagery. Sabine marriage was not true rape, for though the victims were abducted for sexual purposes, the intention of the perpetrators was to preserve the reproductive vigour of their horde and to avoid a worse delinquency (incest). (22) Moreover, wife-capture might also be motivated by female beauty and thus could be naturalized as a characteristic strategy of human sexual selection.

On the other hand, the latter-day 'survivals' of wife-capture suggested that moral perfection had not yet been reached--that uncouth sexual practices were not entirely confined to the savage remnant--even, indeed, that a prehistoric savagery lurked still beneath the civilized facade. McLennan noted, 'Savages are unrestrained by any sense of delicacy from a copartnery in sexual enjoyments; and, indeed, in the civilised state, the sin of great cities shows that there are no natural restraints sufficient to hold men back from grosser copartneries'. (23) He was hardly alone in his acknowledgement that nocturnal reversion to sexual anarchy still troubled the heart of Victorian civilization. Even if a modern man purchased, rather than simply overpowered, a woman to gain temporary sexual access to her, prostitution 'threw back' to the conditions of primeval promiscuity. Victorian progressionists thus either had to grapple with, or ignore, the conundrum that while only symbolic traces of wife-capture remained in their own society, prostitution, a morally inferior system, was as entrenched as ever.

Perhaps it was the appeal of wife-capture as a eugenic fantasy that caused many of them to ignore it. Victorian eugenicists interpreted the inequality in physical strength between wife-captor and victim as progressive. They found support in Darwin's suggestion that the differential in strength between the sexes had increased during the ascent from savagery to barbarism and would not necessarily have been diminished by civilization. (24) Moreover, Victorian women were selected by their men for a beauty that was typically constructed as a mode of physical weakness. Hence wife-capture retained, at least metaphorically, positive eugenic connotations: being 'captured' was proof of a woman's desirability and fertility, while the ability to 'overpower' a woman was proof of a man's worthiness and potency. But such eugenic ideas were almost always impelled by nostalgia for a golden age and anxiety about present degeneration. Some Victorian men must have wondered if the prehistoric wife-capturer had not attained an authentic virility of the kind debarred to themselves as dwellers in civilized (that is, feminized) society. Some men (and some women too) undoubtedly harbour a similar nostalgia today. McLennan, speaking of the violence inflicted on the victim of wife-capture, was careful to note that it was not 'in human flesh and blood to take kicks and cuffs as compliments'; nevertheless he cited a report that among Australians 'this mode of courtship is rather relished by the ladies as a species of rough gallantry'. (25) More often than not, the victim's face in modern Courtship with a Club cartoons continues to register the complicity implied by McLennan's theoretical system.

One powerful icon embodies the mixture of arousal and horror that drove the nineteenth-century fantasy of wife-capture, and the doubts and ambivalences that haunted it: the sculpture by Emmanuel Fremiet entitled 'Gorille enlevant une femme' (1887). (26) A male gorilla bares his fangs, a struggling nude woman wedged under his right arm, while in his left hand he wields a Palaeolithic hand axe. The image, incarnating an exaggerated sexual dimorphism, seethes with animal eroticism. Fremiet's gorilla embodies a primal male sexuality in which unrestrained desire is legitimized by irresistible physical strength, while his stone tool or weapon collapses the boundary between animality and humanity. (27) The ape's captive represents woman as prey to male desire, totally vulnerable in her weakness, nakedness, and helplessness. (28) Fremiet's gorilla is not only the ape from which man has descended, but also that which still inhabits him, agitating for release. As Baudelaire had suggested in 1859, this is an ape that 'a la fois plus et moins qu'un homme, a manifeste quelquefois un appetit humain pour la femme'. (29) The radical dimorphism implied by Fremiet's statue, exaggerated further in order to reduce its dangerous sexual charge, was developed via the King Kong movies (1933, 1976, 2005) into a disingenuous motif that remains as popular today as Courtship with a Club. (30)

Wife-Capture in Prehistoric Fiction

Prehistoric fiction originates in the establishment as scientific orthodoxy after 1859 of the great antiquity of the human species. Typically, its chief concern is to offer speculative dramatizations of what J.-H. Rosny aine, the Belgian-born master of le roman prehistorique, called 'cette longue lutte de l'homme pour atteindre l'Humanite'. (31) This long struggle is what modern palaeoanthropologists refer to more bluntly as 'hominization'. The practice of wife-capture appears in many significant hominization scenarios in early prehistoric fiction, but rarely in the progressionist sense intended by McLennan. Indeed, authors typically (but not exclusively) associate the practice with those elements in the human ancestry that were atavistic and doomed to extinction. For early prehistoric fiction itself had a strongly progressionist tendency; the caveman who went hunting with club in hand for a wife was likely to be cast as an antagonist, destined to be defeated and superseded by men with more chivalrous manners. There are frequent reprises of the scene in which a prehistoric fair maiden, abducted by an ape-man, must be rescued by a hero who is a more advanced human type, like herself. In this way the new fictional genre borrowed heavily from existing romance conventions in order to translate unfamiliar material to a popular readership.

By 1914 there were significant bodies of prehistoric fiction in French, British, and American literature. The common ancestor of all these is Elie Berthet's Romans prehistoriques: le monde inconnu (1876), translated into English as The Pre-Historic World (1879). (32) Berthet's novel was the first to dramatize the rescue of the Stone Age beauty from a human beast, and is in many other ways a template for later prehistoric fiction. The Pre-Historic World is set in a familiar location (latter-day Paris) so as to maximize the contrast between Palaeolithic savagery and modern civilization: hippos wallow in the swamps surrounding the Ile de la Cite. At the same time, the familiar setting allows the author occasionally to telescope time for satirical purposes. The 'pretty glutton of our own day eating cakes at a confectioner's in the Boulevard Italien' is not as remote as she supposes from her prehistoric counterpart who once hungrily sucked raw marrow from a horse bone in the same spot. (33) Moreover, The Pre-Historic World adopts an episodic structure typical of progressionist prehistoric fiction: a discontinuous narrative constituted of chronologically arranged key episodes of hominization. Such a structure avoids the implausibility of those narratives in which the spear thrower, fire drill, and bow and arrow are all invented in the course of one lifetime; but it must eschew the advantages of a single sympathetic protagonist and a plot adhering to the unities of time and action. To refute charges that he is contaminating science with romance, Berthet initiates a trend of buttressing provocative details with footnotes citing anthropological works. At the same time, his imagination is thoroughly 'conditioned', (34) consciously or otherwise, by the familiar structure and personnel of scriptural and mythological tales of origin. It is this conditioning that chiefly explains his casting of the wife-capturer as antagonist.

Berthet's novel is divided into three parts, perhaps in homage to the hominization theory that accredited palaeoanthropology with scientific reputability: the Three Age System (1836) of Christian Jurgensen Thomsen. Only its first part, 'The Parisians of the Stone Age', is relevant here, because wife-capture is central to its plot. Deer, a maiden living with her parents in a cave in Montmartre, is unexpectedly visited by the brutish hunter Red from the Left Bank of the Seine. Berthet bases Deer's Eskimo-Lappish features upon the latest ethnological findings; the villainous Red, by contrast, is an ogre patched together from myths and fairy tales. His limbs are 'covered with red hair like those of Esau in the Bible', and he is greedy for deer-flesh, both literally and figuratively. Red decides that he will have Deer in exchange for the dead reindeer he is carrying. His suit refused (Deer is betrothed to her sweetheart Fair-Hair) Red brains her father with his 'formidable club' and makes off with Deer 'as a wolf carries a sheep'. (35) Of this early appearance in prehistoric fiction of the caveman's favourite weapon, it should be noted that no trace has ever been found of any object that can be verified as a prehistoric club. (36) But if the club is missing from the palaeoanthropological archive, it has long been present in the mythological one. There are innumerable depictions in art and literature of a skin-clad Hercules wielding a club, while other ancient club-wielders include the Cerne Abbas giant and the Wild Man of medieval iconography. Berthet authenticates Red's club by footnoting a German article about a bear's jaw found in the grotto of Hohenfels; his readers were likelier to have been persuaded of the plausibility of the episode by recalling a familiar scriptural passage (Judges 15. 15) involving a hirsute strongman. In the post-Darwinian dispensation, the hairiness of Red, like that of Esau and Samson, connotes a masculinity still close to the ancestral ape. (37) Moreover Red's 'ogreish hunger' associates him with the cannibalistic beast-men of innumerable European folk tales, not to mention with Fremiet's gorilla; insatiable appetite for meat codes for inordinate sexual desire. (38)

Berthet's Palaeolithic scenario is aligned precisely with the traditional structure of romance. The forces of progress and virtue are embodied by a blond hero, forefather of that coming race the Celts, who sets out to rescue the maiden from an ogre representing atavism and vice. Indeed, Red's brutish features and behaviour were those already being imputed to Homo sapiens neanderthalensis, while Fair-Hair represents the more advanced Cro-Magnons, favoured since 1868 as ancestors of modern Europeans. (39) Berthet himself notes that the contrast between Fair-Hair and Red affords 'proof of the fact recognized by modern scientists, that in those remote ages two different races of men inhabited the banks of the Seine'. The dawn of chivalry arises from the stark contrast between the suitors. As the concealed Fair-Hair watches, Deer refuses to follow Red into the forest, with the consequence that 'Red, springing upon her, struck her with unheard-of brutality with the handle of his club [...]. Respect for woman did not exist at that period, and the dominion of the stronger over the weaker sex was exercised without limit'. Red confirms that he is a creature of mere appetite by devouring a wild horse raw, then offering Deer 'rude caresses'; a Social Darwinist avant la lettre, he believes that as the strongest of her suitors he has an inalienable right to her. (40) Deer resists his advances, a sign to Fair Hair that her heart is his; just before Red can club her into submission, Fair-Hair's arrow pierces his throat. The lovers leave the atavism to be eaten alive by hyenas, and return safely to Deer's home cave, where their union is marked by Fair-Hair's ascension to the status of patriarch; Paris's destiny as a centre of civilization is assured.

Three works of prehistoric fiction published in the late 1890s--one British, one American, and one French--develop in different directions Berthet's progressionist theme of the transition between wife-capture and matrimony based on mutual affection. H. G. Wells's 'A Story of the Stone Age' (1899) is set in Britain 50,000 years ago, in a Home Counties dominated by mammoths, rhinos, and cave bears. A horde dwelling in the Surrey Downs contains two potential human lineages each with opposed sets of qualities. Uya, the 'beetle-browed, prognathous, lank-armed' shaman-chief lusts after Eudena; but this maiden, 'our ancestor', prefers the more gracile, thoughtful Ugh-Lomi, who rescues her from Uya's violent courtship. (41) Wells here locates the divergence between Cro-Magnon and Neanderthal a little earlier than Berthet, in a single ancestral horde that contains within it both a progressive and an atavistic potential. The lovers go into exile, eking out a precarious existence on a river terrace overlooking the Thames until Ugh-Lomi is able to develop superior new weaponry (the hafted flint axe) and strategy (horse riding). With Eudena's assistance he is then able to kill Uya, overturn his regressive political and theological legacy (cronyism and superstition), and replace it with a proto-Wellsian system of government based on superior intelligence rather than brute force.

Stanley Waterloo's The Story of Ab (1897), a novel dealing with the transition between the Old and New Stone Ages, is also set in the Thames Valley in Britain. There is in this novel, for perhaps the first time in prehistoric fiction in English, the implication that modern education is deficient compared to the 'great school of Nature' from which cave dwellers had to graduate. (This Rousseauesque conviction suffuses much early prehistoric fiction in French.) Waterloo also proposes that the best men of his own day retain a strong hereditary connection with cavemen like Ab, the manly protagonist. (Ab's self-reliance and pioneering spirit strike a characteristically American note.) Not for Waterloo a primal promiscuity: Ab's tribe is strictly monogamous, with polygamy and worse horrors appearing only in later, more degenerate times. The progressive and atavistic possibilities of human development are here embodied as the two exogamic female objects of Ab's affections: the slender, graceful Lightfoot and the heavyset Moonface, a 'female Esau'. Naturally Ab, on whom Waterloo confers not only the power of sexual selection but also the destiny of the human race, chooses Lightfoot; but he can have her only if he can catch her. Her flight reveals not a genuine reluctance to mate with Ab, but a 'maidenly force-dreading instinct', that is, a delicate modesty marking her as an ancestor that a Victorian lady would be proud of. The successful capture of a mate, then, begins in a moral test for the woman and concludes in a eugenic test for the man. Ab pursues Lightfoot, but his best friend Oak, equally enamoured of the maiden, intervenes, and Ab smashes Oak's skull instead, rather harder than he would have struck Lightfoot. To assuage his blood guilt, Ab must now endure the hardships of exile until he has become a woodsman adept enough to return to the tribe and assume the responsibilities of a true and faithful husband. By then Lightfoot is also ready to become a domestic angel in his cave, yielding 'at all times to the rule of strength as the only law'. (42)

While Wells used prehistoric sexual politics as an argument for social change, and Waterloo used it to affirm the status quo, J.-H. Rosny was revealing that progressionist prehistoric fiction need not be restricted to a single didactic end. His novella 'Nomai' (1897) dramatizes one of the psychological moments in human sexual evolution, when 'le desir de posseder la femme s'accrut du desir d'etre possede par elle'. (43) Set late in prehistory among Neolithic lake-dwellers, the men scrutinize the women of the tribe as they bathe naked, deciding which to purchase, which to abduct. The uncouth giant Rochs desires the beautiful Nomai, the Chief 's daughter, but she prefers Amreh, an undistinguished warrior ashamed by violence and sceptical about the power of the tribal gods. Too much of a weakling to defeat Rochs in combat, Amreh collaborates with Nomai in a successful ruse to slay his rival by ambush. The mutual passion of Amreh and Nomai has the power to destroy the ancient social hierarchy based on brute force and replace it with something much more ambiguous. Having won Nomai, Amreh thanks the very gods in whom he formerly disbelieved, deluded by love into viewing his treacherous murder of Rochs as a morally superior act. As the Chief breaks one of his daughter's teeth in the ritual signifying paternal approval of the match, Amreh in sympathetic anguish presses his lips to Nomai's bleeding mouth. Thus is celebrated the first lovers' kiss, and this new kind of marriage is literally and figuratively consecrated in blood. 'Nomai' reveals Rosny's ambivalence about the evolution of romantic love. While this 'civilized' passion allows intense emotional identification and fosters female agency, its flowering marks the passing of a more virile age; the warrior virtues that once prevailed in the hunt to capture a mate are superseded by conspiratorial cunning and treachery.

Several major works of prehistoric fiction were published in the decade preceding the outbreak of the First World War. Perhaps the chief reason for this concentration was the official recognition of the antiquity of parietal (cave) art in 1902. In particular, the masterful polychrome paintings at Altamira and Font-de-Gaume appealed strongly to the imagination of the early twentieth century. The artworks suggested, more than museum cases of fossilized bones or knapped flints ever could, a vital and profound mental kinship between Palaeolithic and modern people that cried out to be explored in fiction. (44) Other inspirational factors were many significant archaeological discoveries, including Eugene Dubois's Javan Pithecanthropus (1891-94), the Homo sapiens skeletons of Grimaldi (1901), and Combe Capelle (1909), the archaic Mauer jaw (1907), and the Neanderthal remains of Le Moustier, La-Chapelle-aux-Saints, and La Ferrassie (1908). Taken together, these relics at once affirmed the existence of hominid missing links, extended the length of human ancestry, and greatly complicated the diagram of human descent. Questions that have ever since fascinated both scientists and prehistoric novelists began to come into focus. Were the Neanderthals, apparently the first human inhabitants of Europe, in the direct line of our ancestry? Did interbreeding, accidental replacement, or deliberate extermination lead to their disappearance? (45) Simultaneously, prehistoric fiction began to look inwards to try to understand the continuities and discontinuities in a human psychology that now stretched back untold millennia. The new project to rediscover the inner caveman is suggested by Freud's subtitle, Some Points of Agreement between the Mental Lives of Savages and Neurotics, of his Totem and Taboo (1913). At the same time, the achievements of the first-wave feminism of the 1890s, bolstered by such philogynous anthropological works as Otis Tufton Mason's Woman's Share in Primitive Culture (1895), reminded sympathetic writers that women, who had formerly been viewed as either passive objects of male contention or as timid guardians of the home cave, had almost certainly played a major innovative role in human development. Writers of the anti-feminist backlash, on the other hand, began to use prehistoric fiction to affirm a natural or essential inequality of power between men and women, implying that modern civilization tampered with the sexual-political status quo at its peril.

Prehistoric fiction's interior turn is strongly evident in Jack London's Before Adam (1907). The narrator is a modern man whose freakishly developed racial memory gives him involuntary access through dreams to his prehistoric ancestor, Big-Tooth. London's protagonist lives about 100,000 years ago when three hominid strains at different levels of development collide, the outcome deciding the future course of humanity. Representing the most atavistic human type is Red-Eye, a hairy, knuckle-dragging, Palaeolithic Bluebeard. When he tires of a wife, Red-Eye beats her to death, seeks out a new endogamous victim, kills her current mate with his bare hands, then 'seize[s] her by the hair of her head and drag[s] her toward his cave'. (46) Big-Tooth, like most of his tribe 'the Folk', is of a relatively peaceable type at an intermediate level of development between trees and caves. Although Big-Tooth must pursue and catch the Swift One, the partly exogamous object of his affections, wife-capture is now on its way to becoming a symbolic ritual among the Folk.However, the Swift One flees Big-Tooth, not from modesty (cf. Waterloo's Lightfoot and Ab) but purely to test him eugenically. In this way London restores some of the power of sexual selection to the 'fit' female, whose very name suggests that she cannot be caught unless she is willing. The Swift One is related to the more advanced Fire People, but they--the earliest literary antecedents of the clever, ruthless 'New People' of William Golding's The Inheritors (1955)--seek to liquidate the Folk to gain Lebensraum. Although Big-Tooth and the Swift One survive the massacre to pass on their genetic material to the narrator, Red-Eye, the atavism also survives, reverting to the arboreal life of the most primitive hominid strain. London concludes that our prehistoric legacy as a species remains active at both the individual and social level; like Big-Tooth and his Folk we are delicately poised between the competing claims of selfishness and cooperation, atavism and altruism, degeneration and progress.

Although Rosny's La Guerre du feu (1911), through the film adaptation Quest for Fire (1981), is the best-known French prehistoric novel in the English-speaking world, Edmond Haraucourt's Daah (1914), which has never been translated into English, is the more impressive achievement, as well as more relevant in this context. Even more rigorously than Jack London, Haraucourt seeks to explore his inner caveman by reanimating mankind's most ancient Tertiary ancestor, Daah, patriarch of the primal horde. The narrator informs us that memory, rather than invention, is the truer method of bringing Daah back to life, for 'vous portez, dans vos nerfs et dans votre sang, l'imprescriptible survivance de ce que vous futes jadis, en la personne des plus lointains aieux'. (47) As the novel opens, Daah and the first woman, Hock, are solitaries, like orang-utans; their chance encounter leads to a struggle in which he violently overpowers and rapes her. Hock is used to predators trying to kill and eat her, but this one has spared her and remained with her after the attack; she notices her solitude for the first time and attaches herself to Daah. The primal sexual arrangement, then, is woman as man's dependent slave; Daah walks ahead, carrying his club, man's first love-object; Hock walks behind, bearing her infant, whose relationship to Daah neither mother nor father suspect. What will turn them into a couple is the accidental meeting with another pair of proto-humans: self and its adjuncts are only defined through an encounter with otherness. Filled with sudden possessive jealousy over Hock, Daah kills the rival male and rapes the widow Ta to cement his victory. The concept 'Yes' is invented as Daah seizes Ta by the hair and she bows in submission to her new master. From the simple Hock will spring the Neanderthal line, from the more sensitive, intelligent Ta, the Cro-Magnon. Meanwhile, both women, nurturing their children together in a kind of primitive maternal communism and fiercely defending them from the insatiable appetite of Old Man Daah, will be the chief agents of hominization.

Although Haraucourt's vision of primal relations is brutal, he does not pretend that he is reclaiming an authentic, essential, original sexual politics before the perversions of first-wave feminism. Indeed, he makes it clear that Daah's 'sacred egoism' was justified only because his exclusive moral duty to his sparse and vulnerable species was to ensure his own survival; by contrast, the highest modern morality (altruistic self-sacrifice) is based on the precise inverse of this idea. (48) There is, however, a small group of prehistoric fictions, evidently part of an anti-feminist backlash and probably tinged with the newly fashionable influence of Nietzsche, that are marked by a misogyny that essentializes female subordination and indeed masochism. Gouverneur Morris's The Pagan's Progress (1904) is set among North American Palaeo-Indians. Strong Hand splits the skull of his rival as Maku, the object of their contention, looks on delightedly. When Maku flirtatiously tries to escape, Strong Hand fells her with his club and drags her away by the hair; soon she learns to follow him like a dog, 'craving his caresses and enjoying his blows'. (49) In William MacLeod Raine's 'The Cave Boy' (1907), the male protagonist, an 'untamed Apollo of the primeval wilderness', defeats his gorilla-like rival and inherits a beautiful woman, 'his to do with as he pleased'. Having 'no idea what manner of animal Woman might be', he cautiously touches her hair, whereupon she bites his arm and runs away like a deer. Catching her, he instinctively lashes her with a grapevine until she falls submissively at his feet. He leads her home, 'thanking all his pagan gods for the love of woman'. (50)

P. B. McCord's Wolf: The Memoirs of a Cave-Dweller (1908), although it has superficial resemblances to these anti-feminist works, is altogether more ambiguous, proposing how wife-capture as a system would have inevitably broken down as a result of its own success. Through Wolf, the Palaeo-Indian first-person narrator, McCord delineates a tribal life in which women are little better than despised chattels, diagnosing misogyny as a by-product of the rigid gendered division of labour in Stone Age hunter-gatherer communities. The beginning of a less rigid sexual order comes only with the onset of the agricultural revolution. In Wolf 's tribe, as one of the rites of passage into manhood, young men capture women exogamously in the classic McLennan manner. (51) Young wives are beaten if they attempt to assert themselves in any way; if past child-bearing age, women are either shunned or killed off as bouches inutiles. For McCord, it is exogamy, allowing the diffusion of new ideas, that begins to undermine this brutally oppressive sexual system. Wolf has treacherously killed his own brother in order to gain possession of a desired woman. Although she must accept her master passively, she is not without power of her own, for she brings to Wolf 's tribe new knowledge (for example, how to make pottery) that enables him to rise to its headship. Wolf 's acculturation prompts him to kill his wife rather than suffer the humiliation of being beholden to a woman, but instead he learns to accept her as a partner as ruthless in self-interest as himself. But nature is crueller still: weakened by age, Wolf 's wife will be dragged off by the hair by a beast-man with a literal appetite for flesh, while Wolf must endure the deeper humiliation of being no longer man enough to save her.

Though written by a man, Ashton Hilliers's The Master-Girl: A Romance (1910), set among the magnificent physical specimens of the Magdalenian culture of the Upper Palaeolithic, is the most evidently feminist prehistoric fiction of the period. (52) Deh-Yan, the eponymous heroine, six feet three inches tall, is the strongest unmarried girl of her totem clan. In a secluded cave she encounters a man of an enemy clan, Pul Yun, who has broken his leg while hunting for an exogamous wife. Fortunately for him, his helplessness brings out Deh-Yan's tender side. Her heart tells her that she should capture and tame this man for herself, so she invents the splint to save his leg, then the bow and arrow to kill a cave bear and save his life. But thereby a serious problem arises: as the bear's conqueror, she should wear the necklace made from its claws and teeth as a trophy, but in his tribe it is unthinkable for women to hunt or kill bears. Meanwhile, Deh-Yan has shot three besieging warriors dead, but still refuses to wear the necklace. Pul Yun realizes that the times are crying out for a radical revision of gender relations. Once his leg has healed, the pair return to his tribe, which is shocked by their equal bearing. The women, themselves former captives, particularly bemoan the fact that Deh-Yan has not been dragged back bound and beaten as they were. (53) For a time the new arrival restrains herself, but when the chief 's nephew calls her a witch, she proceeds calmly to shoot him dead and scalp him for his folly. Deh-Yan will go on to raise both the feminist consciousness and the cultural prestige of her husband's tribe by a series of remarkable feats and innovations; perhaps significantly, she herself remains childless, but carefully picks suitable mistresses to bear Pul Yun's offspring. Hilliers's novel strongly anticipates Jean M. Auel's The Clan of the Cave Bear (1980) in its assault on the culturally retrograde effect of sexism. Auel's best-seller is often thought to be the first work of prehistoric fiction to foreground feminist issues; it would be truer to state that Auel restored these issues to the central role in the genre that they had lost circa 1914.

Who Killed Courtship with a Club?

Although Edward Westermarck's authoritative The History of Human Marriage (1891) had stated that there was 'no evidence whatever' that wife-capture was ever a universal system or even a normal practice among savages, the scenario continued to be treated seriously in prehistoric fiction as late as the 1950s. (54) In I. O. Evans's young adult novel The Coming of a King (1950), for example, exogamous capture is the norm among the Magdalenians (the most artistically accomplished European Stone Age culture). But before the protagonist Squirrel abducts Hawthorn, the pair have already registered their mutual attraction, and so their pursuit by her tribe is only a token one. Writing in the aftermath of global war, Evans asks his young readers to heed a pacific message: if the more advanced Palaeolithic tribes had managed to ritualize wife-capture, then surely forward-thinking modern people might also learn how to avoid violent conflict with their neighbours?

What laid the serious wife-capture scenario firmly to rest in prehistoric fiction was not feminism or pacifism but satire. Roy Lewis's comic masterpiece What We Did to Father (1960) is a devastating attack on both progressionism in general and British palaeoanthropologists' self-deluding fixation upon pet theories in particular. Lewis's anti-progressionist fervour was a product of the Cold War, when it seemed that technological 'progress' had led humanity to the brink of thermonuclear self-destruction. At the same time, Lewis exploited the satirical possibilities inherent in the unfortunate palaeoanthropological tendency to let wishful thinking about human origins supervene over scientific objectivity and common sense. For the exposure of the Piltdown Hoax in 1953 had conclusively shown that for more than forty years an unknown fraudster, exploiting the desire for a 'British' missing link, had been able to deform the human evolutionary picture by the artful association of a doctored orang-utan jaw and a modern human skull.

In Lewis's novel, Father is the patriarch of a 'subhuman' Palaeolithic horde, except that its members have names like Ernest and Griselda and speak as though they were characters in an English drawing-room comedy: 'Looks like we may be in for an interpluvial after all'. Father is a tireless radical visionary determined to drag his horde out of the Stone Age. As part of his progressive project, he is determined to impose exogamy on his sons. When Oswald, the oldest, protests that 'people always mate with their sisters, [...] It's the done thing', Father retorts that sisters are

too easy; too accessible, too little trouble. They provide too uninhibited an outlet for the undisciplined libido. No; if we want any cultural development, we must put the emotions of the individual under stress. In short, a young man must go out and find his mate, court her, capture her, fight for her. Natural selection. (55)

Here Lewis manages to inculpate simultaneously McLennan, Freud, and Darwin as thinkers whose tendentious theories, dangerously distorted by idealists, have brought mankind to the edge of extinction. (56) Father's experiments with fire, intended to improve the quality of life, go devastatingly wrong; the horde's more conservative members rebel, and satisfy their appetite for a quiet life at Father's expense.

Prehistoric fiction is a speculative genre based on a body of scientific knowledge and theory that has itself historically contained a large speculative element. Moreover, palaeoanthropological orthodoxy is subject to rapid revision as a result of the paucity and unpredictability of the material discoveries upon which the progress of the discipline depends. This was particularly the case in the formative years of the science, when very few prehistoric human remains had been discovered or recognized. But early prehistoric fiction, although it may have been founded on shifting sands, was culturally necessary, in that it made accessible to a large and eager readership discoveries that offered a genuinely fresh perspective upon the origin and nature of human beings, particularly in relation to gender roles in courtship and marriage.

The Victorian anthropological theory of a universal archaic system of wife-capture arose from an inappropriately generalized inference from ethnological reports of the behaviour of one particular group of 'modern savages'. It became rapidly overlaid with both traditional assumptions about essential gender differences, and extrapolations from the new Darwinian theory of human sexual selection. Underneath everything, it tapped into a sexual fantasy about a long-ago world in which women cleaved to the will of those men strong enough to carry them off by force--a fantasy that could seemingly be rationalized by eugenic theory. Although the theory of wife-capture is no longer worthy of scientific consideration, early prehistoric fictions that incorporated it have not lost their interest. These works, many of them undeservedly obscure today, offer insights into how the emerging science of the newly discovered antiquity of man and woman captured and transformed the popular imagination. Early prehistoric fiction served as an arena in which to debate new ideas that problematized, and often threatened to invalidate, the eternal verities of 'original' gender difference. At the same time, these works--and their degenerate offspring Courtship with a Club--suggest that we humans are unable entirely to discard the superannuated myths that have conditioned our imaginations.

(1) Roy Lewis, What We Did to Father (London: Hutchinson, 1960), p. 88. This work was republished as The Evolution Man (1963), as Once upon an Ice Age (1979), and as The Evolution Man; or, How I Ate my Father (1993).

(2) National Railway Museum Science & Society Picture Library, <> [accessed 4 December 2006].

(3) New Yorker cartoons from 1925-2004 are collected on two CDs included with The Complete Cartoons of the New Yorker, ed. by Robert Mankoff (New York: Black Dog & Leventhal, 2004). The Dove cartoon is No. 778 of 1934 on CD 1; the Shanahan cartoon is No. 712 of 2002 on CD 2.

(4) Parenthesized words in quotation marks in this paragraph are terms that were in standard anthropological use during the period 1865-1914 but are not today.

(5) John F. McLennan, Primitive Marriage: An Inquiry into the Origin of the Form of Capture in Marriage Ceremonies, ed. by Peter Riviere (Chicago and London: University of Chicago Press, 1970), p. 65.

(6) See, e.g., Henry Sumner Maine, Ancient Law: Its Connection with the Early History of Society and Its Relation to Modern Ideas (1861; London: Oxford University Press, 1959), p. 106.

(7) McLennan, p. 28 (italics in original).

(8) See Edward Burnett Tylor, Primitive Culture (New York: Harper & Row, 1958), p. 16. This was the theory later adapted by J. G. Frazer in The Golden Bough (1890; see note 12 below) to subvert the privileged status of modern Christian theology and ritual.

(9) McLennan, pp. 67, 49, 23.

(10) John Lubbock's best-selling Pre-Historic Times (1865) devoted three inconclusive chapters to considering which ethnic group deserved the title of the 'lowest' of 'modern savages'.

(11) McLennan, pp. 31, 121, 122. Another 1865 article on Australian Aborigines not cited by McLennan contains a description of violent wife-capture, suggesting that by that date ethnologists probably felt constrained to theorize this practice. When unmated Aborigine men 'discover an unprotected female, their proceedings are not of the most gentle nature. Stunning her by a blow from the dowak [...], they drag her by the hair to the nearest thicket to await her recovery. When she comes to her senses they force her to accompany them, and as at worst it is but the exchange of one brutal lord for another, she generally enters into the spirit of the affair': Augustus Oldfield, 'On The Aborigines of Australia', Transactions of the Ethnological Society of Great Britain, 3 (1865), 215-98 (p. 251).

(12) See James G. Frazer, The Golden Bough: A Study in Comparative Religion, 2 vols (London: Macmillan, 1890), I, 2.

(13) See McLennan, p. 36. Note Tylor's use of 'Sabine marriage' (p. 72) as a synonym for wife-capture.

(14) For example, by Sodoma (1506-07), Cortona (1627-29), Rubens (1635-40), Poussin (1633-35 and 1637-38), Giordano (1675-88), and David (1796-99); also the statuary by Giovanni da Bologna (1583).

(15) Quoted by McLennan, p. 122.

(16) Charles Darwin, The Descent of Man, and Selection in Relation to Sex, 2 vols (London: Murray, 1871; repr. Princeton: Princeton University Press, 1981), i, 182; ii, 365, 371.

(17) See Lord Avebury [John Lubbock], The Origin of Civilisation and the Primitive Condition of Man: Mental and Social Condition of Savages, 6th edn (London: Longmans, Green, 1902), pp. 108, 111, 130.

(18) Peter Riviere, 'Editor's Introduction', in McLennan, p. xl.

(19) George W. Stocking, Jr., Victorian Anthropology (New York: Free Press, 1991), p. 316.

(20) E. E. Evans-Pritchard, quoted by Riviere, p. xliii.

(21) McLennan, pp. 83, 69.

(22) In the phrase 'rape of the Sabines', 'rape' is used in an obsolete sense cognate with French rapt: the act of carrying off a person, especially a woman, by force.

(23) McLennan, p. 69.

(24) Darwin, II, 325-29.

(25) McLennan, p. 32.

(26) An earlier version of this statue was officially rejected by the Salon of 1859 but exhibited clandestinely; it was this version that Baudelaire commented on (see note 29 below) without actually having seen it.

(27) The gorilla carries an Acheulian biface or coup de poing, a stone tool now associated with the early hominid Homo erectus.

(28) See Philippe Dagen, 'Images et legendes de la prehistoire', in Venus et Cain: figures de la prehistoire, 1830-1930, ed. by Helene Lafont-Couturier and others (Paris: Reunion des musees nationaux; Bordeaux: Musee d'Aquitaine, 2003), pp. 16-42 (p. 33).

(29) Charles Baudelaire, 'Salon de 1859', in Curiosites esthetiques, L'Art romantique, et autres oeuvres critiques, ed. by Henri Lemaitre (Paris: Classiques Garnier, 1999), pp. 305-96 (p. 389).

(30) As the gigantic ape of the movies can offer no plausible sexual threat to a normal-sized 'Ann Darrow', primal sexual appetite becomes sentimentalized, racialized, and ironized into an unrequited romance between a black man and a white woman.

(31) J.-H. Rosny, Les Origines (Paris: Borel, 1895), p. 244 (italics in original).

(32) The hyphenated English spelling follows that of Lubbock's Pre-Historic Times (see note 10 above), the first book to popularize the term.

(33) Elie Berthet, The Pre-Historic World, trans. by Mary J. Safford (Philadelphia: Porter & Coates, 1879), p. 52. The new science of human antiquity appealed to feminists and other 'advanced' spirits in the later nineteenth century: Berthet's translator was a New Woman who distinguished herself as a nurse during the American Civil War and later became a physician.

(34) Wiktor Stoczkowski, Exploring Human Origins: Myth, Imagination and Conjecture, trans. by Mary Turton (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2002), p. 3.

(35) Berthet, pp. 24, 34.

(36) See Stoczkowski, p. 79.

(37) See Judith C. Berman, 'Bad Hair Days in the Paleolithic: Modern (Re)Constructions of the Cave Man', American Anthropologist, 101.2 (1999), 288-304 (pp. 290, 295).

(38) Berthet, p. 51.

(39) See Erik Trinkaus and Pat Shipman, The Neandertals: Changing the Image of Mankind (New York: Knopf, 1993), pp. 109-10.

(40) Berthet, pp. 36, 48, 53-54.

(41) H. G.Wells, 'A Story of the Stone Age', in Tales of Space and Time (New York: Doubleday & McClure, 1899; repr. Plainview, NY: Books for Libraries Press, 1976), pp. 59-163 (pp. 65, 88).

(42) Stanley Waterloo, The Story of Ab: A Tale of the Time of the Cave Man (Chicago:Way & Williams, 1897), pp. 29, 172, 199, 236.

(43) J.-H. Rosny aine, 'Nomai', in Romans prehistoriques, ed. by Jean-Baptiste Baronian (Paris: Laffont, 1985), pp. 613-25 (p. 618).

(44) The Altamira paintings were discovered in 1879 but not accepted as genuine until similar parietal art was authenticated, e.g., at Font-de-Gaume (1901). For a synopsis of how Palaeolithic cave art was first recognized see Paul G. Bahn and Jean Vertut, Images of the Ice Age (London: Windward, 1988), pp. 17-25.

(45) From 1908 Marcellin Boule's reconstructions of Neanderthal skeletons overemphasized their simian, bestial aspects, giving a further boost to the already existing tendency (evident, as we have seen, in prehistoric fiction as early as 1876) to dehumanize the Neanderthals.

(46) Jack London, Before Adam (1907; Lincoln: University of Nebraska Press, 2000), p. 181.

(47) Edmond Haraucourt, Daah, le premier homme (Paris: Arlea, 1996), p. 41.

(48) Haraucourt, p. 226.

(49) Gouverneur Morris, The Pagan's Progress (New York: Barnes, 1904), p. 25.

(50) William MacLeod Raine, 'The Cave Boy', Cosmopolitan, 43 (1907), 327-29 (pp. 327, 329).

(51) See P. B. McCord, Wolf: The Memoirs of a Cave-Dweller (New York: Dodge, 1908), p. 52.

(52) Most early prehistoric fiction by women is for children, but may still carry a feminist message: see, e.g., the illustrated series for very young children by the American educator Katharine E. Dopp, beginning with The Tree-Dwellers (1904).

(53) See Ashton Hilliers, The Master-Girl: A Romance (New York and London: Putnam's, 1910), p. 175.

(54) Edward Westermarck, The History of Human Marriage, 5th edn, 3 vols (London: Macmillan, 1921), II, 254.

(55) Lewis, pp. 10, 82.

(56) This theme is made overt by the illustration on p. 133 of the original edition (see note 1 above) of a caveman and modern businessman together fleeing from an enormous mushroom cloud.


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Author:Ruddick, Nicholas
Publication:Yearbook of English Studies
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Date:Jul 1, 2007
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