“Was the elephant man descended from monkeys?”
-Literally in Leicester
“Tis true my form is something odd,
But blaming me is blaming God.
Could I create myself anew,
I would not fail in pleasing you.
If I could reach from pole to pole,
Or grasp the ocean with a span,
I would be measured by the soul,
The mind’s the standard of the man.”
For those who don’t know, The Elephant Man, also known as Joseph Merrick (often wrongly called “John Merrick”) was a Victorian sideshow performer, infamous for his looks, but sadly not his charm.
There is still some speculation as to what he was afflicted with. Initially, it was thought to be Neurofibromatosis type 1, later studies suggested Proteus syndrome, although more recent DNA testing throws this theory into doubt. Other theories have suggested he may have been the love-child of Bono and Barbra Streisand, or that his existence itself can be attributed to something Big Al made up, and nobody ever dared to question him.
Whatever his uncommon affliction, it would not be uncommon in modern times to refer to him as having “a great personality”. By all accounts, this would appear to be the case. According to the oraculous Wikipedia, he enjoyed poetry and flower collecting, both rather fine hobbies, I think you’ll agree.
As far as current technology allows, Joseph Merrick Jr’s ancestors were all of the homosapien variety as far back as 1792. In answer to your question, “Literally in Leicester”, no.
It would appear that The Elephant Man is not descended from cercopithecoids (Old World monkey) or platyrrhines (New World monkey) but, like most humans, he is descended from apes.