[ Entomology; Forel ] Typed Letter Signed ('A Forel') by Forel, with photo; Autograph Letter Signed ('Edd: Clodd') by Clodd on blacks in Jamaica; ALS ('P. Celesia') by Celesia; in a copy of the English translation of Forel's 'The Senses of Insects'.

Auguste Forel [Auguste-Henri Forel] (1848-1931), Swiss entomologist and psychiatrist; Edward Clodd (1840-1930), English anthropologist; Paolo Celesia (1872-1916), Italian biologist [Jamaica; racism]
Publication details: 
Forel's letter: 7 May 1908, Yvorne. Clodd's letter: 4 June 1917, on letterhead of Strafford House, Aldeburgh, Suffolk. Celesia's letter: 15 June 1906, Como. The book: London: Methuen & Co. 1908.
SKU: 18852

The three letters are addressed to the translator of Forel's book, the surgeon and free-thinker Percival Macleod Yearsley (1867-1951). Forel's letter: 4to, 1 p. Twenty lines. In French. Text clear and complete. On browned and chipped high-acidity paper. Laid down on the front pastedown. In the first paragraph he thanks the translator, Macleod Yearsley, for the book, which he praises in fulsome terms. He is sending a copy of his 'Question Sexuelle'. He gives details of an American translation, adding: 'Jusqu'à présent les éditeurs anglais s'y étaient refusés, craignant de trop choquer votre public, mais l'année passée Rebman s'est décidé à tenter l'aventure.' Correction to the book in postscript. Sepia photograph (11 x 8 cm) of Forel examining a case of insects laid down on front free endpaper. Clodd's letter: 12mo, 4 pp. Fifty-six lines of text. Bifolium. Good. Loose, in stamped, addressed envelope which is laid down on the half-title. Begins: 'I knew that Forel would interest me, and the interest has been greater than I expected.' He considers Forel's 'handling of the question of the "cerebral physiology of human psychology" [...] masterly'. He notes that 'in Jamaica, the universal statements, from Archbishop Nuttall to the village schoolmaster, were that, up to the stage of puberty, the black boys and girls beat the whites, and then they go all to pieces: the animal is dominant; the island is honeycombed with syphilis.' The cause of this 'cerebral arrest', Clodd has heard, is 'the earlier closing and ossification of the sutures: anyway, the negro skull is of phenomenal thickness, as shewn in the enormous weights I have seen both men and women carry. Hence, the arrest of what Ray Lankester calls "Educability".' He praises 'The Translator, who too rarely comes to the fore'. He hopes, at a future meeting with Yearsley, 'to have an old friend to meet you: James Cotton, who edited the Academy for many years: a scholarly man & a good talker'. Postscript regarding a visit by 'My Phyllis' to 'a brother who is on short leave from the front'. Celesia's letter: 8vo, 3 pp. Bifolium. Mounted, by the reverse of the last leaf, on the rear pastedown. Twenty-eight lines. In English. Aged and a littled foxed. Since arriving at Como, he has been searching for 'the cliches of Dr Forel's paper', the printer of which has informed him that 'the figures had been obtained by lythographic process'. The printer is sending the slate, which Yearsley will receive. The delay is due to Celesia's long-held wish 'to have some day free for a trip to Como'. A slip bearing Forel's signature ('Dr A Forel') has been laid down on the reverse of the front free endpaper, with a review of the translation from the Observer. Three other cuttings laid down. The items are all contained in the translator's own copy of his edition of Forel's 'The Senses of Insects', with his ownership inscription at the head of the title: 'Macleod Yearsley | 1908'. The book (8vo, xvi + 324 pp, with two plates, one of them a fold-out, and a 40-page publisher's catalogue at rear) is a tight copy, on aged and lightly-foxed paper with discoloured edges and some offsetting to the title, and in worn and faded red cloth binding, gilt.