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The Hunterian Lectures in Comparative Anatomy, May and June 1837

Edited with an Introductory Essay and Commentary by Phillip Reid Sloan
Sir Richard Owen (1804-1892), comparative anatomist, colleague and later antagonist of Darwin, and head of the British Museum (Natural History), was a major figure in Victorian science, and one of the least well known. Historians of science have found Owen a difficult subject, partly because he seldom wrote at length about his theories of the nature of life. However, his contemporaries—Darwin, Lyell, Grant, Huxley, and others—certainly knew his ideas and agreed or argued with him while developing their own views.

Now, for the first time, modern readers may consult the single sustained exposition of his views that Owen ever provided: his Hunterian Lectures. Phillip Reid Sloan has transcribed and edited the seven surviving lectures and has written an introduction and commentary that situate this work in the context of Owen’s life and the scientific life of the time. The lectures survey some of the history of comparative anatomy since Aristotle and draw on work by some of Owen’s contemporaries. Their chief value, however, lies in Owen’s elucidation of his own view on the relationships among various groups of living things.

"Owen is one of the linchpin figures of Victorian science. The publication of these lectures is important, and Sloan is to be commended for a fine transcription."—Adrian Desmond, University College, London

356 pages | 16 halftones, 3 tables, frontispiece | 6 x 9 | © 1992

Biological Sciences: Anatomy, Evolutionary Biology, Physiology, Biomechanics, and Morphology

Earth Sciences: Paleontology

History of Science

Table of Contents

List of Illustrations
List of Tables
Part I: On the Edge of Evolution
Part II: The 1837 Hunterian Lectures
2.1. Editorial Methods
2.2. Lecture One
Analysis of the Manuscript of Lectures One and Two
Text of Lecture One, 2 May 1837
2.3. Lecture Two
Text of Lecture Two, 4 May 1837
Notes to Lectures One and Two
2.4. Lecture Three
Analysis of the Manucript of Lectures Three and Four
Text of Lecture Three, 6 May 1837
2.5. Lecture Four
Text of Lecture Four, 9 May 1837
Notes to Lectures Three and Four
2.6. Lecture Five
Analysis of Manuscript of Lecture Five
Text of Lecture Five, 11 May 1837
Notes to Lecture Five
2.7. Lecture Six
Analysis of Manuscript of Lecture Six
Text of Lecture Six, 13 May 1837
Notes to Lecture Six
2.8. Lecture Seven
Analysis of the Manuscript of Lecture Seven
Text of Lecture Seven, 16 May 1837
Notes to Lecture Seven
Joseph Henry Green’s Introductory Hunterian Lecture on the Comparative Anatomy of the Birds, 27 March 1827
Analysis of the Manuscript
Text of the Green Lecture

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