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Letter 6079

Bowman, William to Darwin, C. R.

1 Apr [1868]

    Summary Add

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    Asks for precise reference in Charles Bell to subject of CD's question. Agrees to assist CD's investigation. Asks about Bell's observations on eyes engorged with blood. Has noticed that eyes of children with excessive photophobia tend to be pale when forced open.

Transcription

5 Clifford Street

Ap 1<  >

My dear Mr Darwin

I was so sorry <not> to see you— I hope I shall sometime.

Can you without inconvenience give me a reference to Bell's exact words— I sought for them before ineffectually—

The matter you ask about shall be fully examined— I shall have great pleasure in ascertaining all I can on a subject so interesting to you. It is a very complex one how <2 or 3 words missing> much <1 or 2 words missing>

<1 or 2 words missing> <exc>essive photophobia <in what is> called scrofulous ophthalmia in children, when the light is so very painful that weeks or months it is constantly excluded by the most forcible closure of the lids— I have often been struck by the paleness of the eyes on forcibly opening the lids—not unnatural paleness, but an absence of the redness that one would have expected when the surface is somewhat inflamed, as is then usually the case—viz with small <    > specks on the cornea

Does Bell <1 or 2 words missing> at the moment <    > is pale & is then seen to become gorged with blood—or is it found gorged?— In such circumstances the whole head & face is usually turgid with the frantic passion of the infant resisting violence.

Yours very truly | W Bowman

    Footnotes Add

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    f1 6079.f1
    The year is established by the relationship between this letter and the letters to William Bowman, 30 March [1868] and 2 April [1868].
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    f2 6079.f2
    Bowman had been away during CD's visit to London in March 1868 (see letter to William Bowman, 30 March [1868]).
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    f3 6079.f3
    Bowman refers to Charles Bell. See letter to William Bowman, 30 March [1868] and n. 3.
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    f4 6079.f4
    Scrofulous opthalmia: inflammation of the cornea and conjunctiva associated with tuberculosis (Dorland's medical dictionary).
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    f5 6079.f5
    In Expression, pp. 161--2 n. 16, CD quoted Bowman's observation. See also letter to William Bowman, 2 April [1868].
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