London: W.W. for Humphrey Moseley, 1649. 12mo. [xxxvi], 240 pp. FIRST EDITION. Woodcut initials and headpieces. Contemporary calf, rebacked at an early date with the original spine laid down; text block lightly toned, paste-downs strengthened with early annotations. Generally in excellent shape. Item #15986
First edition of this early and rare anonymously-published treatise on the relationship between muscular action and psychology, the first substantial English work on the muscular basis of the expression of emotions. Bulwer very specifically describes the facial expressions for various emotions, including anger and happiness. His intention to name facial muscles after the actual passions they were used to express foreshadowed Duchenne de Boulogne’s Mecanisme de la physiognomie humaine (1862) by over two hundred years. Much of Bulwer’s initial descriptions were confirmed in Darwin’s Expression of emotions of man and animals (1872).
Bulwer (1606-1656) is noted for having been the first in England to develop a method of communicating with the deaf and dumb.