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    Sir William Osler. The Principles and Practice of Medicine Designed for the Use of Practitioners and Students of Medicine. New York: D. Appleton and Company, 1892. First edition of "one of the most influential textbooks of general medicine every written" (Norman Library), first state, with Plato's "Gorgias" misspelled "Georgias" on the verso of the third leaf (page [vi]). Inscribed by physician, medical researcher, and Nobel laureate Philip S. Hench (1896-1965) on a tipped-in leaf at front. Thick octavo (9.25 x 6.125 inches; 234 x 155 mm.). xvi, [1, "Charts and Illustrations"], [1, blank], 1079, [1 blank], [6, advertisements] pages plus 8 pages publisher's advertisements, dated November 1891, at end. Nineteen charts and five figures in the text; index. Original green cloth, neatly recased and rebacked, preserving the original spine. Covers with triple blind rule border; spine ruled and lettered in gilt. Original yellow coated endpapers replaced. Corners bumped; covers with a few small stains and areas of slight discoloration; board edges rubbed in places. Paper browned and becoming brittle at the edges; intermittent dampstain at upper edge; occasional minor mostly marginal staining. Quarter-inch tear to outer edge of pages [vii]/viii; several leaves with short marginal tears or tiny edge nicks and dings; several corners creased or folded. Evidence of a rusty paper clip having been removed from the top edge of pages [vi] and [vii]. Bookseller's ticket on front pastedown: "Chicago Medical Book Co. / Congress & Honore Sts. / Chicago." A very good copy of this important work. Protected in a black cloth chemise and quarter black morocco over black cloth book-back slipcase, the spine panelled and lettered in gilt in compartments with four raised bands. Garrison-Morton 2231; Golden and Roland 1375; Grolier, Medicine, 82; Lilly Library, Notable Medical Books, p. 233; Norman Library 1612; Osler 3543; Waller 7031.

    More Information: Inserted as front free endpaper is a leaf with a gift inscription to Philip S. Hench from his teacher George E. Brown in black ink: "To my associate / Phillip [sic] Hench. / from George E. Brown / Jan. 1926." Inscribed by Hench in black ink below that: "Philip S. Hench / Mayo Clinic. / Rochester, Minn. /Jan 1926." Finally, below that, inscribed by Hench to his son Philip Kahler Hench (1930-2009) in blue ink: "This gift to me from a fine 'chief' and a wonderfully stimulating teacher, / Dr George E Brown, I pass on / with affection and pride, to my own son Dr Philip Kahler Hench. / 37 years after I received it. / Philip S. Hench / Mayo Clinic / Dec. 25, 1962 / Rochester, Minn." George E. Brown was Chief of a Section of Medicine at the Mayo Clinic until his untimely death at an early age in 1936. The Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine in 1950 was awarded to Edward C. Kendall, Tadeus Reichstein, and Philip S. Hench, "for the discovery of the hormone cortisone, and its application for the treatment of rheumatoid arthritis."
    "One of the most influential textbooks of general medicine ever written. The chapters describe specific diseases by systems—an innovation now generally followed—and the work's elevated literary style, coupled with its vast store of medical knowledge, brought something new to the medical textbook genre. Writing at the end of a revolutionary period in medicine, Osler was able to fill a widely felt need by incorporating into his textbook the tremendous advances, particularly in microbiology, that had forever altered the face of medicine. The work became a standard textbook, going through eight editions in Osler's lifetime; it was translated into French, German, Spanish and Portuguese, and became the first complete textbook of Western medicine to be translated into Chinese" (Norman Library).

    "While at Johns Hopkins, Osler wrote The Principles and Practice of Medicine, which continues to be an object of interest and admiration more than a century after its first publication in February 1892. Acclaimed as both a scientific and a literary masterpiece, it quickly became the standard textbook of medicine throughout much of the English-speaking world...Osler's Principles and Practice of Medicine went through sixteen editions from 1892 to 1947" (Grolier, Medicine, 82).

    "The outstanding chapters were those on the communicable diseases (in particular typhoid and malarial infections, cholera Asiatica, the pneumonias, syphilis, and tuberculosis) and the diseases of the circulatory system in which Osler's unique knowledge of the pathology of cardiac affections and aneurysms was utilized in a most effective way" (Golden and Roland, page 136, and entry 1378).

    For Osler's own account of the preparation of his textbook, see the Bibliotheca Osleriana (Osler 3544). See also Richard L. Golden and Charles G. Roland, Sir William Osler: An Annotated Bibliography with Illustrations (San Francisco: Norman Publishing, 1988).


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