12 June 2008
PROPERTY FROM THE COLLECTION OF LENA M. AND IRWIN J. PINCUS, M.D.
SEMMELWEIS, Ignaz Philipp (1818-1865). Zwei offene Briefe an Dr. J. Spaeth, Professor der Geburtshilfe an der K.K.Josefs-Akademie in Wien, und an Hofrath Dr. F.W. Scanzoni, Professor der Geburtshilfe zu Würzburg. Pest: Gustav Emich, 1861.
8o (189 x 128 mm). (Corners creased throughout.) Original printed green wrappers (a few small tears, minor creasing).
SEMMELWEIS. Offener Brief an sämmtliche Professoren der Geburtshilfe. Ofen: Königliche ungarische Buchdruckerei, 1862.
8o (200 x 133 mm). (Title cropped just touching a few letters, first few pages with light staining and creasing.) Original printed wrappers (spine reinforced with tape, some rubbing, light chipping to edges). Provenance: Old library label (to upper cover).
FIRST EDITIONS. Semmelweis responded passionately to unfavorable reviews of his Aetiologie... des Kindbettfiebers, stopping just short of accusing his critics of abetting the spread of a killer disease. Semmelweis's 1862 general letter "to professors of obstetrics" proceeds in similar fashion, responding acerbically to various criticisms and providing supplementary historical background to his book from his very wide readings in medical history. The pamphlet ends abruptly, announcing a continuation to follow (apparently never published?). Semmelweis's vehement replies to his critics "did little to advance his ideas" (DSB). Waller 8834 and 8833; Norman 1928. (2)
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