Punch,  41 (1861), 169.

Incredible Humbug



News-Commentary, Drollery


Phrenology, Crime, Psychology, Anatomy, Controversy, Charlatanry, Religious Authority

    Discusses a report in The Times that a prison surgeon refused to make a plaster cast of a dead criminal on the grounds that it was 'unnecessary for the purpose of science'. Observing that 'There are a few people who do not think that there is something in phrenology', upholds the 'scientific importance' of establishing a 'coincidence between type of head and character', and argues that casts of heads of criminals can solve the question of whether phrenology 'is all humbug or no'. Denies the plausibility of the report, deeming the alleged actions of the surgeon to be more appropriate to a 'shuffling bishop, desirous of stifling theological investigation'.

© Science in the Nineteenth-Century Periodical Project, Universities of Leeds and Sheffield, 2005 - 2020

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