Le Boursier, a prominent Parisian midwife, first published the present work in 1759 without illustrations. The success of the book encouraged her to have later editions illustrated by Jean Robert (fl. 1746-1782). The 1769 edition was the first book on midwifery to appear with plates printed in multiple colors. Robert, a pupil of Le Blon, is known to have illustrated only three books and this was his most copiously illustrated book. The finely applied colors often appear to be hand-painted rather than printed.
Notes from the Rare Book Room Category
Visit us before, during or after the holidays and bring a friend. To insure that the room is open email firstname.lastname@example.org or call 335-9154.
Nicholas Culpeper (1616–1654) was an English botanist, herbalist, physician, and astrologer. His published books, The English Physician (1652) and the Complete Herbal (1653), contain a rich store of pharmaceutical and herbal knowledge.
Culpeper spent the greater part of his life in the English outdoors cataloging hundreds of medicinal herbs. He criticized what he considered the unnatural methods of his contemporaries, writing: “This not being pleasing, and less profitable to me, I consulted with my two brothers, DR. REASON and DR. EXPERIENCE, and took a voyage to visit my mother NATURE, by whose advice, together with the help of Dr. DILIGENCE, I at last obtained my desire; and, being warned by MR. HONESTY, a stranger in our days, to publish it to the world, I have done it.”
Robert Fludd (1574-1637) was a prominent English Paracelsian physician, astrologer,and mathematian. He was the first person to discuss the circulation of the blood, and did in fact arrive at the correct conclusion. His conclusion was based on the macrocosm-microcosm analysis, a theory in which all occurrences in the microcosm (man) are influenced by the macrocosm (the heavens). His theory was that the blood must circulate because the heart is like the sun and the blood like the planets. William Harvey later explained the circulation of the blood in more modern and experimental terms, though still referring to the macrocosm-microcosm analogy of Fludd.
Sir Charles Wheatstone (1802-1875) was an English scientist and inventor of many scientific breakthroughs of the Victorian era, including his 1838 invention of the stereoscope (a device for displaying three-dimensional images). Stereopsis, was first described by Wheatstone in research which led him to make stereoscopic drawings and construct the stereoscope. He showed that our impression of solidity is gained by the combination in the mind of two separate pictures of an object taken by both of our eyes from different points of view.
Thursday, October 28, 2010, 5:30-6:30
George W. Beran, D.V.M., Ph.D., Prof. Emeritus Vet. Microbiol. & Prev. Med., ISU
One Health: Human & Animal Rabies, an issue in human & animal relations
Friday, November 19, 2010, 5:30-6:30
Mark Waddell, Ph.D., Assist. Prof., Dept. of History, Michigan State University
Viper’s Flesh and Unicorn’s Horn: The Quest for a Magical Panacea
Thursday, January 27, 2011, 5:30-6:30
Axel Ruprecht D.D.S., M.Sc.D., F.R.C.D.(C), Prof. of Diag. Sci. & Oral & Maxillofacial Rad., UI
The History of Oral and Maxillofacial Radiology
Thursday, February 24, 2011, TBD
Micheil Cannistra, Sparks essay contest Winner, 3rd Year Med. student, U of I
Indian Giver: Lynch Syndrome, The Navajo, and the Genetic Revolution
Thursday, March 24, 2011, 4:30-7:30
John Martin Rare Book Rm,. 4th floor, Hardin Library for the Health Sci., U of Ia
Open House in the John Martin Rare Book Room
Friday, April 28, 2011, 6:00-9:00
Allen Shotwell, M.A., M.S. , PhD (ABD) in History & Phil. of Sci. at Ind. Univ.
The Anatomist and the Book in the Early Sixteenth Century
Although born in Ireland, Valentine Greatrakes was English, his ancestors having settled there in the late sixteenth century. In 1641, the family was forced to flee England during an Irish revolt. He was privately educated in theology and the humanities in Devon where the family lived. When he was nineteen, Greatrakes returned to Ireland, determined to regain what he could of his father’s estate. About four years after he regained his estate, Greatrakes “had an Impulse, or a strange perswasion . . . that God had given me the blessing of curing the Kings-Evil”, also known as scrophula. His method was to use his hands to stroke the affected part. His successes were such that he was soon charged with practicing medicine without a license but he countered that, since he charged no fee, he needed no license. Although forbidden to heal, he continued as before and eventually was stroking for all manner of complaints. He effected many cures, achieved great popularity, and was even called upon by Charles II to exercise his powers on three patients from St. Bartholomew’s Hospital in London. After his 1666 tour of England , he returned to live quietly in Ireland and cure those who came to his door. The highlighted tract was written in response to charges contained in a pamphlet by David Lloyd (1635-1692) which attacked his morals and techniques. Greatrakes prepared this small book to answer those criticisms and certify the validity of his cures. Essentially prepared as a letter to Robert Boyle, the book contains, in addition to the autobiographical introduction, over fifty letters from individuals, public figures, patients, churchmen, physicians, and Fellows of the Royal Society testifying to the success of his cures.
The University of Iowa History of Medicine Society and the University Libraries invite you to an Open House in the John Martin Rare Book Room
“The Essentials: A hands-on look at key works in the history of medicine
from seven centuries”
Thursday, March 25th
4:30 to 7:30
John Martin Rare Book Room, 4th floor, Hardin Library for the Health Sciences. The event is open to the public.
James studied at Oxford and was granted his M.D. from Cambridge by royal mandate in 1728. He settled in London after practicing at Sheffield, Lichfield, and Birmingham. A successful physician, he became quite wealthy and famous when his “fever powder” became the most popular nostrum of the day. The chief ingredients were lime phosphate and antimony oxide and the medicine was used as an emetic, purgative, diaphoretic, or alterative depending on the dose and condition of the patient. James authored a number of books but the present work is the one for which he is best remembered.
It remains the largest, most exhaustive, and most erudite English language medical dictionary written before the nineteenth century. It was published in weekly installments beginning in 1742 and ending in August of 1745. Although never identified or acknowledged by name, there is ample evidence that Samuel Johnson, a close friend and student of James, contributed to the dictionary.
It is interesting that James includes a detailed entry on the unicorn horn (shown here) at a time when most scientists had begun to doubt its existence.