FROM THE LIBRARY OF SIR GEORGE MURRAY HUMPHRY (1820-1896)
Professor Sir George Murray Humphry was a renowned surgeon and anatomist. Despite coming from a modest background without connections, he became the youngest hospital surgeon in England when he was appointed to Addenbrooke’s Hospital in Cambridge at the age of 22. In 1847 he became a lecturer in Human Anatomy at Cambridge University, was appointed Professor of Human Anatomy in 1866, and he ended his life as “one of the most influential people in the University of Cambridge” (ODNB). Humphry was acquainted with Darwin’s son George, who had entered the university in 1863. The first edition Origin of Species offered here reflects Humphry’s participation in the most important scientific debates of his time: when invited in 1880 to deliver the Rede Lecture, he chose as his subject “Man, past, present and future”. In 1866, Humphry founded the Journal of Anatomy and Physiology, which he co-edited. The Journal regularly reviewed recent publications, and naturally its editor received copies of Darwin’s works in their earliest editions.
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