Spurzheim, Johann Gaspar (1776-1832). Autograph note to Mr. W. Trevelyan (most likely Walter Calverley Trevelyan [1797-1879]). 21 March [n.y.]. 1 page. 121 x 116 mm. Traces of former mounting on verso, tiny lacunae in upper and lower left corners (not affecting text) but very good.
From J. G. Spurzheim, co-developer with Gall of the pseudoscience of phrenology, which holds that a person's character and personality traits can be determined by reading the bumps and fissures of the skull. Phrenology was very popular in the nineteenth century, and is credited with furthering the development of neuroscience by promoting the concept of localization of function in the brain. Spurzheim collaborated with Gall on several phrenological works and later set up on his own as a lecturer and writer on phrenology, traveling extensively throughout Britain and Europe.
Spurzheim's note was almost certainly written to Walter Calverley Trevelyan (later Sir Walter Calverley Trevelyan, Bart.), a member of a prominent aristocratic family and one of Britain's most eminent supporters of phrenology. The note reads as follows:
"Dr. Spurzheim sends his compliments to Mr. W. Trevelyan and will be glad to see him to-morrow morning at half past 11 o'clock."Book Id: 41070