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GEOFFROY SAINT-HILAIRE, Etienne (1772-1884). Autograph manuscript signed (‘Geoffroy S. Hilaire’), ‘Sur un nouveau genre de monstre a double visage determiné sous le nom de Polyopse, lu a l’academie royale de medicine, le 27 fevrier 1827’.
GEOFFROY SAINT-HILAIRE, Etienne (1772-1884). Autograph manuscript signed (‘Geoffroy S. Hilaire’), ‘Sur un nouveau genre de monstre a double visage determiné sous le nom de Polyopse, lu a l’academie royale de medicine, le 27 fevrier 1827’.

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GEOFFROY SAINT-HILAIRE, Etienne (1772-1884). Autograph manuscript signed (‘Geoffroy S. Hilaire’), ‘Sur un nouveau genre de monstre a double visage determiné sous le nom de Polyopse, lu a l’academie royale de medicine, le 27 fevrier 1827’.

Heavily-corrected manuscript, with a number of pasted correction slips, imperfect (lacking ending). 22 pages, 255 x 205mm, stitched in a single gathering; [with] three autograph drafts of the opening of the same article, one under the title ‘Presentation d’un monstre humain’, together 9 pages, the same size, and a secretarial manuscript, ‘Observation de deux foetus réunis par la tête’, 8 pages, 258 x 208mm (imperfect at end, browned and somewhat stained).

A report on the birth of conjoined twins (with two faces but a single body) in Paris, proposing that births of this sort be given the name ‘monstres polyopses’, and that they be divided into three groups. In this instance, Geoffroy suggests that the cause of the conjoinment may have been a blow to the mother’s stomach in the fifth week after conception. Geoffroy wrote on the general causes of ‘monstrosities’ in the second volume of his Philosophie anatomique (1822); his son, Isidore, who was to become an authority on deviations from normal structures, cites the present paper in his Histoire générale et particulière des anomalies de l’organisation chez l’homme et les animaux (1832-37).

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Robert Tyrwhitt
Robert Tyrwhitt

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