RECORD: Anon. 1873. [Review of Expression]. Portland Daily Press (4 January): 1.

REVISION HISTORY: Transcribed by Christine Chua and edited by John van Wyhe. 4.2022. RN1

NOTE: See the record for this item in the Freeman Bibliographical Database by entering its Identifier here. 1873 [1872]. The expression of the emotions in man and animals. New York: Appleton.

[page] 1

Expression of th Emotions in Man and Animals. By Charles Darwin.

The issue of this work has been eagerly looked forward to, not only by scientists, but by the general reading public. As the fruit of careful observations began as early as 1836 and continued up to the last year, it will command attention from the opponents of as well as adherents to Mr. Darwin's creed. The work is written in a singularly unaggressive tone and is so free from technical expressions that it becomes easy reading to those even who have given no study tο natural history. The writer establishes with great clearness the fact that many of the most noticeable of the animal expressions seem at first to have been serviceable as a means of self protection, as, for example, the showing of the teeth by dogs, or the setting up of the back by cats, both of which are terror-inspiring, the one on a count of the suggestion of biting, the other because of the exaggeration of size. The conciliatory attitudes he refers to the principle of "antithesis," that is, the relaxation of all muscles that were strained to express hostility, as the crouching attitude of the dog. These different expressions he assumes to be governed by the animal's strong feeling of contrast. "The tendency tο perform opposite movements under opposite sensations or emotions would, if we may judge by analogy, become hereditary in long practice." It seems to us that the origin of the practice is involved in some obscurity, [though] the origin being once assumed, the author's deductions are very skillfully drawn. The whole theory is based upon the assumption of conscious contrast. But those who cannot follow Mr. Darwin's reasoning in this particular, will still find much in the work that is worthy of their most serious attention. The admirable style in which it is written, and the illustrative incidents with which it abounds, make it as entertaining as a romance.

Published by D. Appleton & Co. For sale by Bailey & Noyes.

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Citation: John van Wyhe, ed. 2002-. The Complete Work of Charles Darwin Online. (

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