Tuesday, 23 October 2012


In my last post, on the portraitist Richard Evans, I quoted from autobiography of one of his subjects - or victims -  Harriet Martineau.. There'a delightful passage a few lines later  that seemed worth sharing: rational, to the point of insanity:
Two casts have been taken of my head; one in 1833, and one in 1853. They were taken purely for phrenological purposes. As I have bequeathed my skull and brain, for the same objects, I should not have thought it necessary to have a second cast taken, (to verify the changes made by time) but for the danger of accident which might frustrate my arrangements. I might die by drowning at sea; or by a railway smash, which would destroy the head: so I made all sure by having a cast taken, not long before my last illness began.

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