Item Details

A Mechanical Account of Poisons. In Several Essays.

London: Printed by R.J. for Ralph Smith, 1702. First Edition. Full Calf. Richard Mead (1673-1754) was an important figure in the development of medical science and toxicology. He wrote the first book in the English Language solely devoted to poisons, was an advocate for evidence-based medicine, advanced the social role of physicians in serving the poor and disadvantaged, and supported the wider medical and scientific communities. Mead's Mechanical Account of Poisons (1702) includes original observations on the action of snake venom (viper), mad dog bite, tarantula, poisonous minerals and plants, as aconite, henbane, and hemlock. Mead was also known as a prodigious collector and scholar; his library numbered nearly 10,000 volumes. In Chapter 4, he describes opium as ‘one of the most noble remedies in the world’ (includes formula for use for sleeping) and indeed, it was often prescribed by doctors for their patients. He advocated cautious use, arguing that excessive doses could cause difficulty with breathing and displays similar to drunkenness, which he called a ‘volatile spirit’. He also compares the same effects of opium use to similar gastrointestinal effects after eating. Very Good+. Hinges starting, but intact. Dampstaining at top fore-corner; 10 leaves and rear, 178-183pp. small chip at fore edge of rear plate, tear p.79, bumping on corners, otherwise clean and sound. Comtemporary Cambridge style ornamental stamped panel calf, with brown calf spine label, raised bands, cut stub. 8vo, with copper engraved folding plate at rear with 18 figures, 16 unnumbered pp, 184pp. Annotations on endpapers, title. Item #11096

Price: $650.00

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