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Notes on the United States of North America during a Phrenological Visit in 1838–39–40
  • Publisher: Cambridge University Press
  • Online publication date: September 2011
  • Print publication year: 2010
  • First published in: 1841
  • Online ISBN: 9780511702419
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    Notes on the United States of North America during a Phrenological Visit in 1838–39–40
    • Online ISBN: 9780511702419
    • Book DOI:
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Book description

George Combe (1788–1858) rose from humble origins to tour widely in Europe and the United States, lecturing on phrenology, the popular Victorian belief that character traits were determined by the configuration of the skull. He founded Britain's first Phrenological Society in 1820 in Edinburgh, and was considered the foremost phrenologist of the nineteenth century. These volumes, first published in 1841, contain Combe's account of a phrenological lecture tour he undertook in the United States between 1838 and 1840. In the form of a journal, Combe describes the social and political institutions of the United States, and provides vivid descriptions of American society and customs. He also provides accounts of phrenological practice and the lectures he presented. These volumes provide a wealth of information on nineteenth-century society in America, and invaluable details concerning the practice of phrenology. Volume 3 concludes his account, and discusses 'American civilization'.

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