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    Manual of Military Surgery

    Pierre François Percy. Manuel du Chirurgien D'Armée, ou Instruction de Chirurgie Militaire Sur le traitement des plaies d'armes à feu; avec la Méthode d'extraire de ces plaies les corps étrangers, et la Description d'un nouvel instrument proper à cet usage...Paris: Chez Germer Baillière, 1830 [1792].

    Though the title-page bears an imprint of 1830 and a "Nouvelle Edition" designation, in fact, except for this title and the half-title that precedes it, the work comprises the entirety of the first edition from 1792, with the same typesetting, collation, pagination, single folding plate, and indeed, two examples of the 1792 title page -- one mounted in its original place as leaf a1, and another, bound backwards, between leaves K11 and K12. Neither a new edition nor a reprint, the 1830 Manuel de Chirurgien D'Armee is most certainly made up from sheets left over from the 1792 print run, and therefore best described as a reissue undertaken by Germer Baillière, bookseller and "Successeur de Madame Auger-Méquignon" (the Méquignon firm published the book in 1792).

    Twelvemo. [4], xvi, 272 pp. Complete, with the folding plate, and an additional 1792 title-page.

    Twentieth-century orange buckram library binding, smooth spine lettered in gilt, with white manuscript call numbers at foot. From the "Bibliotheca Nevrologica" of Dr. Cyril Courville (1900-1968), with the Courville imprint stamped in gilt at the foot of the spine. The first 1792 title at the front (leaf a1) is mounted on a stub and re-margined at the gutter; in other copies reissued in 1830, this leaf has been excised. Occasional light foxing and toning. Small piece torn away from outer margin of leaf A1, just touching a couple of letters (piece is present and repairable, and leaf bears faint remnants of an earlier repair). Small fore- and bottom-edge tears to F6 just touching a couple of letters, and small piece of paper missing from outer margin of leaf G1, unaffecting text in both cases. Sheets are largely clean and supple, with bright text. Overall, a very good copy.

    Baron Pierre François Percy (1754-1825) was a prominent surgeon in Napoleon's army, and published his "Manual of Army Surgery" the same year that he became médicin consultant of the Northern Army. Percy is remembered for creating and designing his own medical tools and instruments for bullet and fragment extraction, discussed in this work and illustrated in the single plate. With his contemporary, Hippolyte Larrey, Percy was the first to develop special ambulances and squads of litter-bearers, as well as a kind of ambulance able to transport sixteen surgeons and surgical dressings for more than a thousand soldiers.

    During his distinguished career, Cyril Courville was head of neuropathology at Los Angeles County General Hospital, Director of the Cajal Laboratory of Neuropathology, and Professor of Neurology at Loma Linda University School of Medicine. In part because of his own magnificent personal library of over 7,000 books and journals in neurology, medical history, and arms and armor, in 1956 Courville was also made honorary president of the Medical Library Association. Upon his death Courville donated the majority of his library to the Bernard Becker Medical Library at the University of California, Irvine. These works were purchased by prominent Los Angeles physician Merle Hunter Boyce and remained part of his library until his death in 2005.

    Garrison-Morton 2158.1.

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    October, 2008
    16th-18th Thursday-Saturday
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