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    Walter (Gualtero) Charleton. Oeconomia Animalis, Novis in Medicina Hypothesibus Superstructa, & Mechanice explicata. London: R. Danielis & J. Redmanni, 1659. Krown & Spellman retail: $450. 12mo. *12, **4, A-M12, N2. (xxxii), 291p., (1) Contemporary calf, rebacked. Front hinge started, back board detached, some loss to spine. Title label on black in gilt. Library stamp to half-title and least blank leaf. Soiling to corner of last few leaves. Manuscript ex-libris to verso of title page "given by Dr. William Steadfast." Bookplates from Archibald Church, Northwestern University. Few ms notes. Several in-text engravings. First edition in Latin. First edition in Latin (issued simultaneously in English) of this important work in the history of physiology. From the Krown & Spellman Collection.

    More Information:

     "...the first published treatise on physiology based on the 'mechanical philosophy', because although Descartes' De homine was written during the 1630s it was not published until 1662. 'Charleton adopted Harvey's concept of epigenesis, identifying embryonic differentiation with growth and stressing the interdependence of genesis, growth and nutrition; he also used geometrical reasoning to disprove the claim that muscles increased in volume upon contraction" - (Norman).


    "In 1659 Charleton published a mechanistic account of physiology in Latin (Oeconomia animalis) and English (Natural History of Nutrition, Life, and Voluntary Motion), which included the suggestion that there was no increase in volume when a muscle contracted. Charleton was here rejecting the Cartesian account which attributed muscle shortening to its inflation by animal spirit. Charleton's assessment was confirmed experimentally by Jonathan Goddard in 1669." (Henry in Oxford DNB).  Wing C3685, ESTC r23990. Wellcome II: 329, British Anatomy 133, OCLC 7937579, Thorndike VII: 463-4

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    5th Thursday
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