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  • Factory sealed DVD.
  • Imported from USA.
The history of phrenology, the "science" of divining human personality traits by feeling the bumps on a person's skull, is covered in a fairly basic manner on this DVD. The production begins by describing the invention of phrenology in Austria in the 1790s, but generally focuses on how it developed in England in the ensuing decades. An expert on the history of phrenology, John van Whye of Cambridge University provides perspective throughout. The film shows little ambition, however, as van Whye is the only expert to appear, and some aspects of phrenology as a cultural phenomenon are touched upon only briefly. Segments include explanations of how the cranium was mapped by phrenologists and what specific characteristics were believed to have been indicated by skull shape. This is an adequate introduction to a subject that has always been controversial, but it tends to raise a lot of questions that it doesn't attempt to answer. --Robert J. McNamara



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