GLISSON, Francis (1597?-1677); George BATE (1608-1669); Ahasuerus REGEMORTER (1614-1650) [et alia]. De rachitide sive morbo puerili, qui vulg the rickets dicitur. London: William du Gard for Laurence Sadler and Robert Beaumont, 1650.
8o (167 x 106 mm). Collation: A8 a8 B-Z8 Aa-Dd8. 224 leaves (A1 blank except for signature). Errata statement on a8v, printed shoulder notes; approximately 15 small woodcut figures or diagrams, woodcut headpiece and initials. (Dampstaining affecting last few leaves, some marginal discoloration, mark on title from deleted inscription, minor worming in gutter margins, rusthole to N3.) Contemporary blind-panelled English calf (unobtrusively rebacked); cloth folding case.
Provenance: Ahasuerus Regemorterus, co-author (signature on last page, ink corrections throughout, most following the printed errata list, a medicinal prescription in his hand in lower margin of p. 377 (Bb6r); James Peiree (later 18th or 19th-century signature on front free endpaper); King's College [Columbia University] Medical School (inkstamp on p. 101).
FIRST EDITION, CO-AUTHOR'S COPY, of the first full clinical description of rickets and the first description of infantile scurvy. In 1645 the Royal College of Physicians assigned to Glisson and his fellow members Bate and Regemorter the task of investigating and publishing a book on rickets, thought to have appeared only recently in England. "The investigation of the essential nature of the disease fell to Glisson, who impressed his co-workers so much that they entrusted him with drafting the entire book, into which their own observations and possibly those of authors like Daniel Whistler were incorporated" (DSB). (Whistler's Leiden 1645 dissertation was the first description of rickets as a definite disease.) The list of contributors on A5v includes the three main authors as well as the physicians R. Wright, T. Sheafe, N. Paget, J. Goddard, and E. Trench, making it "one of the earliest instances of collaborative medical research in England" (Garrison-Morton), but also making it "hard to tell how much of the classic anatomical and clinical descriptions of the disease belongs to Glisson alone. He claimed originality specifically for chapters 3-14. These are concerned mainly with the nature of the disease, which he believed to be a cold and humid distemper..." (DSB). Like Glisson's other works, this one is presented in an archaic, scholastic framework of reasoning. Harvey's new theory is incorporated in the work "as a matter of course" (DSB) in a chapter on regulation of the circulation of the blood, which also deals with the mechanisms of nervous function and the nature of hereditary disease. Garrison-Morton 3729; NLM/Krivatsy 4822; Osler 2757; Waller 3589; Welcome III, p. 126; Wing G-854; Norman 910.