From Alexander Shaw to Marion Bell 27 November 1868
40 West Abbey Road | Kilburn | N. W
27 Novr 1868
My Dear Marion
Will you inform Mr Darwin that the Footnote in the 3d Edn. of the “Expression”, referring to the “Nervous System” p. 175, has reference to Sir Charles’ Work—“On the Nervous System of the Human Body” &c. 3d Edn. 1835.1
The Introductory Chapter of the 2nd Edn. of the “Expression” (1824), having the sub-title “Some account of the Nerves, as a foundation for the Study of Expression”— is the one thro’ which Sir Charles had drawn his pen, when preparing the work, shortly before his death, (1842), for a third Edition.2
From his leaving the title untouched, it was evident that he intended to re-write the Essay on the Nerves: And in my rashness, I thought that I could supply a substitute: Whence my Essay in the Appendix, of the 3d Edn. in 1844.3
In 1847, when there was a re-issue of the work, I took the opportunity of Amending my Essay.4
In 1860, I gave a similar, yet different, Account of the discoveries—to be prefixed to the 6th Edn. of the “Hand.”5 Imperfect as that may be, I look on it as a decided improvement on what I had furnished for the “Expression” in 1847.
Accordingly, when Bohn, about three years ago, was in treaty about the last Edn. of the “Expression”, I wished to remodel and Amend my Essay—so as to make it bear more on the subject of the work. But he would not give me time.6
I would have Amplified the topics at the bottom of p. 23. and top of p. 24.7 And I wd have said something about Beauty in the Face bearing relation to the forms best adapted for Voice, and for Expression.
That may come forth some other day—-When I have not so much else to do.
Yr. Affte | Alex Shaw.
Asks MB to forward information to CD regarding works dealing with expression, in particular refers to Sir Charles Bell’s work The nervous system [3d ed. (1836)].