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Darwin Correspondence Project

From James Crichton-Browne   18 August 1871

West Riding Asylum, | Wakefield.

18th. August. 1871.

My dear Sir,

May I beg your acceptance of the accompanying volume of West Riding Lunatic Asylum Medical Reports.1 The work is strictly Medical in character and will not I fear interest you much. At page 93 et seq. however you will find a few independent observations bearing upon the subject of blushing.2

I have a little more leisure now and shall send you some more material upon this topic very shortly.3

With great respect | I am, | Yours most faithfully | J. Crichton Browne

Charles Darwin Esq | &c &c


CD’s copy of volume 1 of the West Riding Lunatic Asylum Medical Reports is in the Darwin Library–CUL.
Crichton-Browne refers to reports by Charles Aldridge, an assistant medical officer at the West Riding Asylum, on the effects of ergot of rye, nitrite of amyl, nitrous oxide gas, and hydrate of chloral: when administered to patients all except ergot caused dilation of the capillaries and resultant flushing of the skin (Aldridge 1871, pp. 93–9).
Crichton-Browne had sent notes on blushing in the past (see Correspondence vol. 18, letter from James Crichton-Browne, 15 March 1870 and enclosure); CD’s most recent request for information was in his letters to Crichton-Browne of 9 April [1871] and 12 April 1871. CD published on blushing in chapter 13 of Expression.


Correspondence: The correspondence of Charles Darwin. Edited by Frederick Burkhardt et al. 27 vols to date. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. 1985–.

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


Sends CD a volume of West Riding Lunatic Asylum Medical Reports [1 (1871)], which contains some observations on blushing.

Letter details

Letter no.
James Crichton-Browne
Charles Robert Darwin
Sent from
West Riding Asylum, Wakefield
Source of text
DAR 161: 317
Physical description

Please cite as

Darwin Correspondence Project, “Letter no. 7910,” accessed on 10 July 2020,

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