CHIARUGI, Vincenzo (1759-1820). Della pazzia in genere, e in specie tratto medico-analitico con una centuria di osservazioni. Florence: Luigi Carlieri, 1793-1794.
3 volumes bound in 2, 8o (175 x 110 mm). Cancel slip with letter "N" pasted over incorrect signature "O" on N1 in vol. 1. Woodcut title-page vignettes, 2 folding engraved plates. Contemporary limp boards; modern morocco-backed box. Provenance: armorial ink stamps incorporating a tree (two on each title page); "Dr. Fieoli, 1824" (signatures on endleaves).
FIRST EDITION of perhaps the greatest rarity in the history of psychiatric literature. Based on his practical experience at the hospital of S. Bonifazio in Florence (see lot 369), Chiarugi discussed the causes and treatment of insanity, which he divided into melancholia, mania and amentia. Although this classification was influenced by William Cullen (see lot 392), Chiarugi's work and the reforms he instituted at S. Bonifacio represent "the first application of the principles of psychiatric treatment which are at the basis of psychiatry even today" (G. Mora, 'Vincenzo Chiarugi', in Journal of the History of Medicine 14, 1959, p. 431). In addition to urging safe and healthful surroundings and little or no restraint for the mentally ill, Chiarugi advocated respect for insane individuals as persons, pleasant as well as authoritative behavior on the part of the physician, and the use of tact and understanding in an effort to lead patients back to truth and reason.
Chiarugi's reforms anticipated those of Pinel, who began his work with the insane only in 1793, the year Chiarugi's treatise on insanity was published. Although Pinel knew, and denigrated, Chiarugi's work, the theory and practice advocated in his Trait medico-philosophique sur l'alination mentale, published in 1801 (see lot 721), differ little from those developed at S. Bonifacio from 1788 on. Garrison-Morton 4921; NLM/Blake, p. 87; Norman 475.