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August 6, 1898

DOUBLE-HEADED MONSTERS IN FICTION.

JAMA. 1898;XXXI(6):307-309. doi:10.1001/jama.1898.02450060045008

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Abstract

The utilization of pathologic data in fiction has become so widespread that the neglect of the rich field of teratologic conditions must appear rather mysterious. Considering the casuistic discussions of the marriage of the Siamese twins and of the marital status of the pyopagic (backunited) "Double-Headed Nightingale," it seems strange in these days of realism, that so little use should be made of double-headed monsters in fiction. This appears particularly unaccountable, when the legal, amatory, ethic and marital complications thereon resultant (capable of producing such beautifully intricate plots) are considered. The "Double-Headed Nightingale" was legally decided to be two persons; marriage of one man to whom would result in bigamy. Under certain legal opinions in Illinois, simultaneous marriage with more than one woman does not constitute bigamy in that State. Under this construction of the Illinois statute regulating marriage, the marriage ceremonies must be separate to constitute bigamy. Marriage in

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