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Alfred C. Haddon

Alfred Cort Haddon, Sc.D., FRS, FRGS (Finsbury, 24 May 1855 – 20 April 1940, Cambridge) was an influential British anthropologist and ethnologist. Initially a biologist, who achieved his most notable fieldwork, with W.H.R. Rivers, C.G. Seligman, Sidney Ray, Anthony Wilkin on the Torres Strait Islands.

Alfred C. Haddon was the eldest son of John Haddon, the head of a firm of type-founders and printers. He attended lectures at King’s College London before entering Christ’s College, Cambridge in 1875. At Cambridge, he studied zoology. Shortly after attaining his Master of Arts degree, Haddon was appointed as Demonstrator in Zoology at Cambridge in 1882. For a time he studied marine biology in Naples. In 1883 he was appointed Professor of Zoology at the College of Science in Dublin. The same year he got married. Among his first publications were An Introduction to Embryology in 1887, and various papers on marine biology, which led to his being invited to go to the Torres Strait Islands to study coral reefs and marine zoology, and while thus engaged he first became attracted to anthropology.

On his return home, he published many papers dealing with the indigenous people, urging the importance of securing all possible information about these and kindred peoples before they were overwhelmed by civilization.

Read more about Alfred C. Haddon in the Post Scriptum of 'Magic and Magical Fetish'.