JENNER, Edward (1749-1823). An Inquiry into the Causes and Effects of the Variolae Vaccinae, a Disease discovered in some of the Western Counties of England, particularly Gloucestershire, and known by the name of the Cow Pox. London: Sampson Low, for the author, 1798.
4o (244 x 207 mm). 4 engraved plates by William Skelton, color-printed in sanguine and enhanced with some hand-coloring (artist's name cropped off or shaved). Half title, errata leaf. (Some very light browning and occasional foxing to text, tiny marginal hole to H3.) Contemporary half German parchment, blue paste boards. Provenance: Municipal Library of Karlsbad (inscription recording presentation by Jenner's disciple Giovanni de Carro of Vienna, bookplate, 2 stamps, an engraved portrait of de Caro inserted).
FIRST EDITION OF A MEDICAL CLASSIC, ANNOUNCING "ONE OF THE GREATEST TRIUMPHS IN THE HISTORY OF MEDICINE" (Garrison-Morton), and "the basis of the modern science of immunology" (PMM). Attempts to use mild strains of the disease to inoculate against smallpox had begun in India, China, and Turkey, and this still-dangerous and unreliable "variolation" was brought to England in 1718. Jenner, a country paractitioner in Berkeley, Gloucestershire, became curious about the country wisdom that milkmaids who contracted cowpox, a common and non-fatal infection transferred from cattle, were safe from smallpox. In 1796, Jenner's experiments confirmed this belief, and in 1798 he published this account of 23 successful vaccinations. "Jenner started one of the greatest practical advances in preventitive medicine and today there are innoculations ... against scarlet fever, typhoid fever, diptheria, whooping-cough and tetanus, as well as ... bubonic plague, cholera and yellow fever" (PMM). The success of Jenner's work led to the announcement of the World Health Organisation in 1980 that natural smallpox had been eradicated. Dibner Heralds of Science 127; Garrison-Morton 5423; Grolier Medicine 53; Heirs of Hippocrates 1086; Grolier/Horblit 56; William Lefanu A bibliography of Edward Jenner, 8 (2nd ed., n.p., 1985); PMM 250; Wellcome III, p. 351; Norman 1162.
JENNER, Edward. Further Observations on the Variolae Vaccinae, or Cow Pox. London: Sampson Low, for the author, 1799.
4o. Half title. (Upper left corner of title repaired, some minor foxing to half title, title and text, some spotting to I4.) FIRST EDITION. Jenner's first reply to critics, explaining common mistakes (such as the failure to recognise the symptoms of true cowpox, leading to ineffectual inoculations), and considering differences between inoculations in London and in the countryside. Lefanu, Jenner, 52; Wellcome III, p. 351; Norman 1168.
JENNER, Edward. A Continuation of Facts and Observations relative to the Variolae Vaccinae or Cow Pox. London: Sampson Low for the author, 1800. 4o. Half title (occasional minor foxing). FIRST EDITION. Including further reports of successful inoculations, and with the justifiably ebulliant conclusion "May I not with perfect confidence congratulate my country and society at large in their beholding, in the mild form of the Cow Pox, an antidote that is capable of extirpating from the earth a disease that is every hour devouring its victims; a disease that has ever been considered as the severest scourge of the human race!". Lefanu Jenner, 58; Wellcome III, p. 351; Norman 1169.