RECORD: Anon. 1873. [Review of Expression]. Southern Farm and Home, etc., vol. 1: 193.

REVISION HISTORY: Transcribed by Christine Chua and edited by John van Wyhe. 7.2021. RN1


[page] 193

Expression of the Emotions in Man and Animals. By Charles Darwin. (D. Appleton & Co.) pp.  374. All those with whom the theory of evolution and natural selection have found favor, will find this latest work of Mr. Darwin, a very interesting study; but those who refuse to believe that an "anthropomorphous ape" is our common progenitor will not find in it much to amuse or instruct them. Like every work of Darwin's, this shows great industry, deep research, wonderful patience, and skillful adaptation of facts to support a theory. But after all the book proves nothing. It presents some curious phenomena especially in the nature of the lower animals, but fails, we think, utterly to attain the object for which it was written, namely, the discovery of fixed laws governing the emotions and their external expression.

Mr. Darwin differs entirely from Sir Charles Bell, the author of "Anatomy and Philosophy of Expression," that man has been created with certain muscles specially adapted for the expression of his feelings. "This would be totally inconsistent with the evolution theory, and establish man's creation as an independent order of being, therefore Darwin goes' to work to show modo suo that our way of expressing our emotions is not independently innate, but is acquired or evolved, just as the present distinctive differences between man and a monkey are not differences ab origine, but the result of "development of species by natural selection."'

The book is well illustrated by wood-cuts and photographs, and will no doubt be found full of interest to those who feel any interest in the subjects of which it treats, and the theories it is intended to establish.


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Citation: John van Wyhe, ed. 2002-. The Complete Work of Charles Darwin Online. (http://darwin-online.org.uk/)

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