Primitive love and love-stories (1899) by Henry Theophilus Finck, PDF book

Primitive love and love-stories 

Primitive love and love-stories


The new science of anthropology, with its various branches, including sociology, ethnology, and comparative psychology, has within the last two or three decades brought together and discussed an immense number of facts relating to man in his various stages of development —: savagery, barbarism, semi-civilization, and civilization. Monographs have appeared in great numbers on various customs and institutions, including marriage, which has been discussed in several exhaustive volumes.

Love alone has remained to be specially considered from an evolutionary point of view. My own book, Romantic Low and Personal Beamt^, which appeared in 1887, did indeed touch upon this question, but very briefly. inasmuch as its subject, as the title indicates, was modern romantic love. A book on such a subject was naturally and easily written whereas the present volume, is concerned chiefly with the love-affairs of savages and barbarians, could not possibly have been subjected to the same restrictions. 

Care has been taken, however, to exclude anything that might offend a healthy taste. If it has been necessary for some chapters to multiply un-pleasant facts, the reader must blame the sentimentalists who have so persistently whitewashed the savages that it has become necessary, in the interest


Nothing could be more foolish than the ostrich policy, so often indulged in, of hiding facts in the hope that opponents will not see them. Had I found any data inconsistent with my theory I should have modified it in accordance with them. I have also been very careful in regard to my authorities. The chief cause of the great confusion reigning in anthropo- logical literature is that, as a rule, evidence is piled up with a pitchfork. Anyone who has been anywhere and expressed a globe-trotter's opinion is cited as a witness, with deplorable results. I have not only taken most of my multitudinous facts from the original sources, 
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