One of the Earliest Monographs in English on Children’s Diseases

Of Childrens Diseases: Given in a familiar style for weaker capacities. With an Apparatus or Introduction explaining the Authors Principles: as also a Treatise of the Rickets. By R.G. Physician.

Title within double-ruled border. 12 p.l. (the first a blank), 148 pp., two leaves (the final a blank). Small 8vo, cont. mottled calf (minor wear & light browning), unlettered spine. London: Printed for G. Downs, 1682.

First edition in English and the first separate edition of one of the earliest monographs in English on children’s diseases, translated by Richard Gower from the fourth book of Sylvius’s Praxeos Medicae (1674). Gower studied medicine under Sylvius at Leiden, and after graduating returned to England, where he settled at Newcastle-on-Tyne. Le Boë (1614-72), better known as Sylvius, was, if not the founder, certainly the outstanding proponent and most influential of the iatrochemists who explained and treated all disease chemically. At Leiden, he was one of the greatest teachers of his time.

While Sylvius makes no important single contribution to the subject, his work does however display his careful observation and the importance that he placed on clinical detail. To him, symptoms had a positive bearing on pathology, and in explaining the connection, he shows his conviction that chemistry plays a large part in the normal and abnormal functioning of the body.

PROVENANCE: early signature of “John Peache” on first and last blank leaves. This was John Pechey (1655–1716), medical writer. Pechey is described by Still, pp. 300-04, as the last writer on diseases of children in the 17th century. He published his A General Treatise on the Diseases of Infants and Children in 1697.

A fine copy of a rare book (ESTC locates just six copies, with only two in North America). At p. 129 are the remains of a slip of paper pasted to the fore-edge, perhaps by Pechey, which carried the title of the book; the spine being unlettered, the book was evidently shelved with the fore-edge outwards.

❧ Ruhräh, Pediatrics of the Past, pp. 298–308. Still, The History of Paediatrics, pp. 267–73.

Price: $7,250.00

Item ID: 6945

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