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Sepia-toned portrait photograph by Maull & Polyblank
1856.

Grant, Robert Edmond (1793-1874). Portrait photograph, from Maull and Polyblank's Photographic Portraits of Living Celebrities (1856-60). 305 x 254 mm. Faint stain in left margin, but very good.

Portrait of Scottish comparative anatomist Robert E. Grant, a student of Cuvier, Geoffroy St. Hilaire and Lamarck, and an early supporter of the concept of the transmutation of species as set forth in the writings of Lamarck and Erasmus Darwin. In the 1820s Grant began a study of sea sponges, and published several papers demonstrating that these organisms were animal rather than vegetable in nature. In these studies Grant was assisted by the young Charles Darwin, who was then living in Edinburgh.

[Grant and Darwin] would often go out on long walks together at the Firth of Forth, discussing marine biology and collecting marine animals. Darwin started dissecting some of the specimens they collected, although rather poorly. Grant taught him how to make observations in nature and how to spot important specimens. During these walks Grant filled Darwin's head with evolutionary ideas, especially those of the French naturalist, Lamarck, whom Grant admired a great deal ("About Charles Darwin," AboutDarwin[dot]com).

In 1827 Grant was named professor of comparative anatomy and zoology at London University (later University College, London), a post he held for 46 years.


      [Bookseller: Jeremy Norman's Historyofscience.com]
Last Found On: 2014-07-29           Check availability:      Biblio    

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