Cruikshank, George. Hard Cover. London: Published by George Cruikshank & J. Robins and Co., 1830. First Edition. Near Fine.
Oblong 4to. Illustrated by George Cruikshank. First edition. Containing seven plates and protective paper guards, each plate illustrated with four or five hand-colored etchings, labeled according to the list of illustrations. Finely bound by Bumpus in full yellow calf, decorated and lettered in gilt with a maroon backstrip, green and gold marbled endpapers, original printed paper wrappers bound in. A near fine copy, rebacked with original backstrip preserved, foxing to first few leaves and offsetting to plate guards, else exceptionally clean with bright, fresh colors. Overall, a handsome copy of this interesting piece of medical history. These illustrations by George Cruikshank are based on the pseudomedical field of phrenology developed by Doctors Franz Joseph Gall and Johann Gaspar Spurzheim beginning in 1796. Phrenology was the study of the size and measurement of the human skull to identify certain behavioral and emotional traits in humans. Based on the idea that the size of a certain area of the brain indicated its strength, phrenological research suggested that the shape of one's skull would determine a person's various personality traits. Though now viewed as an outdated, primitive view of the mind, the idea that certain parts of the brain have different emotional functions is a concept still used today in neuroscience. George Cruikshank's illustrations depict several of the different possible traits caused by different shapes in the skull, including "inhabitiveness," "self-love," and "hope." Cruikshank, a prolific illustrator, is best-known for his illustrations for Charles Dickens' various novels, which reached international popularity.