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Darwin Correspondence Project

To William Ogle   29 April [1871]

Down. | Beckenham | Kent. S.E.

April 29th

My dear Dr Ogle

I am truly obliged for all the great trouble which you have so kindly taken.— I am sure you have no cause to say that you are sorry you can give no more definite information; for you have given me far more than I ever expected to get. The action of the Platysma is not very important for me, but I believe that you will fully understand (for I have always fancied that our minds were very similar) the intolerable desire I had not to be utterly baffled. Now I know that it sometimes contracts from fear, & from shuddering, but not apparently from a prolonged state of fear such as the insane suffer.1

With very many thanks, | Yours sincerely | Ch. Darwin


Ogle’s letter to CD has not been found, but may have contained Ogle’s observations of the action of the platysma in patients about to undergo an operation (see Expression, pp. 300–1, and letter to William Ogle, 25 March [1871]).


Expression: The expression of the emotions in man and animals. By Charles Darwin. London: John Murray. 1872.


Discusses action of the platysma in a state of fear.

Letter details

Letter no.
Charles Robert Darwin
William Ogle
Sent from
AP 30 71
Source of text
American Philosophical Society (Mss.B.D25.394)
Physical description

Please cite as

Darwin Correspondence Project, “Letter no. 7726,” accessed on 10 April 2020,

Also published in The Correspondence of Charles Darwin, vol. 19