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Gypsy Folk Tales, by Francis Hindes Groome, [1899], at

The Anthropological Theory.

In his Introduction to Mrs. Hunt's admirable translation of Grimm, Mr. Andrew Lang thus expounded his 'Anthropological' theory of folk-tales:--

'As to the origin of the wild incidents in Household Tales, let any one ask himself this question: Is there anything in the frequent appearance of cannibals, in kinship with animals, in magic, in abominable cruelty, that would seem unnatural to a savage? Certainly not; all these things are familiar to his world. Do all these things occur on almost every page of Grimm? Certainly they do. Have they been natural and familiar incidents to the educated German mind during the historic age? No one will venture to say so. These notions, then, have survived in peasant tales from the time when the ancestors of the Germans were like Zulus or Maoris or Australians.'

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