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#115529 - 11/08/03 07:36 PM achondroplastic dwarf
In David Copperfield, Dickens' description of Miss Mowcher is that of an achondroplastic dwarf.
In achondroplasia, the epiphyses, near the ends of the long bones, cannot produce their normal elongation. So the victim has a relatively normal head and torso, with very short arms and legs. Mental development is not impaired.
Here is a URL about the condition:
#115530 - 11/08/03 07:40 PM Re: achondroplastic dwarf
Here is the description of Miss Mowcher:
I looked at the doorway and saw nothing. I was still looking at the doorway, thinking that Miss Mowcher was a long while making her appearance, when, to my infinite astonishment, there came waddling round a sofa which stood between me and it, a pursy dwarf, of about forty or forty-five, with a very large head and face, a pair of roguish grey eyes, and such extremely little arms, that, to enable herself to lay a finger archly against her snub nose, as she ogled Steerforth, she was obliged to meet the finger half-way, and lay her nose against it. Her chin, which was what is called a double chin, was so fat that it entirely swallowed up the strings of her bonnet, bow and all. Throat she had none; waist she had none; legs she had none, worth mentioning; for though she was more than full-sized down to where her waist would have been, if she had had any, and though she terminated, as human beings generally do, in a pair of feet, she was so short that she stood at a common-sized chair as at a table, resting a bag she carried on the seat. This lady - dressed in an off-hand, easy style; bringing her nose and her forefinger together, with the difficulty I have described; standing with her head necessarily on one side, and, with one of her sharp eyes shut up, making an uncommonly knowing face - after ogling Steerforth for a few moments, broke into a torrent of words.
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