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The Anatomy and Philosophy of Expression as connected with the Fine Arts.
London: John Murray, 1844 - Octavo (245 × 163 mm). Dark green morocco presentation binding, title gilt to the spine, compartments and boards with French fillet panels gilt, single fillet edge-roll, all edges gilt, wide turn-ins, with gilt panels of a paired thick and thin fillets, green moiré silk endsheets. Just a little rubbed at the extremities, light browning, occasional spotting and off-setting in places from the illustrations, but overall very good. 4 engraved plates and numerous illustrations to the text. Third Edition, enlarged, of a work first published as Anatomy of Expression in 1806, and containing his last revisions; "These essays formed the earliest and latest occupation of the lamented author's leisure hours" (Preface). This copy was bound for presentation by Bell's wife Marion to her goddaughter Anna Marion Isaac, in 1845, two years after the death of her husband, and is inscribed by her on the first binder's blank. She has also annotated the sketch of a lyre-playing satyr at p.227, "His last unfinished sketch, MB"; and transcribed the inscription from Bell's memorial tablet in the churchyard at Hallow, which was written by his good friend Lord Jeffrey, jurist, author and editor of the Edinburgh Review. Tipped onto the front pastedown is a letter from the recipient's son to a Dr. Backley, sending the book as a gift in gratitude for his professional services with the reservation that "I expect the book is out of date - as well as out of print - but I thought that you might like it ". Extending and rationalising Lavaterian physiognomics, Bell, as talented an artist as he was a physiologist, here attempts "to explain the anatomical basis for the artistic representation of emotion." This work was to have considerable influence on Darwin in the writing of his Expression of Emotion; "He found Bell's arguments absorbing, and was deeply impressed by the author's comparative analysis of human and animal musculature and his excursions into the theory of art, anthropology, philosophy, and psychology. In particular, he was struck by the claim that insanity could be equated with raw animality" (Browne "Darwin and the face of Madness" in Bynum, Porter and Shepherd The Anatomy of Madness, p.152). Bell researched and wrote authoritatively on brain function and the nervous system, also famously published his Dissertation on Gun-Shot Wounds, having studied the problems whilst treating the casualties of Corunna at Haslar Hospital, and visiting the battlefield of Waterloo to offer his expertise. Hunter & Macalpine, p.599; "the book was popular for a hundred years and last reissued in 1904". [Attributes: Signed Copy]
      [Bookseller: Peter Harrington. ABA member]
Last Found On: 2017-02-21           Check availability:      ZVAB    


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