London: Peter Short, 1600.
1st Edition. Hardcover. Very Good. Item #003286
Folio (270 x 180 mm). , 240 pp. Signatures: *8, A-V6. Woodcut title device and large woodcut arms on verso, one folding plate, 87 woodcuts in text of which 4 full-page, decorative woodcut initials, head- and tailpieces (a little soiling to the title, first and last leaf lightly browned, a few occasional scattered rust spots). 19th-century quarter calf, sides covered with black marbled paper, flat spine filleted and lettered in gilt (spine worn, extremities rubbed). Provenance: Jesuit Collège Royal Henry-Le-Grand, La Flèche, France (17th-century inscriptions on title); Jesuit residence in Laval, France (neat stamp on title, ticket on front paste-down); Jesuit Maison Saint-Louis, Jersey, Channel Islands (neat ink stamp on the titlepage); Peter & Margarethe Braune (bookplate to front pastedown). A very good, well-margined, and internally crisp and clean copy. ----
Dibner 54; Horblit 41; Norman 905; PMM 107; Sparrow 85; Wellcome 2830. FIRST EDITION of the first great scientific book printed in England. "Gilbert coined the terms 'electricity', 'electric force' and 'electric attraction' and may rightly be considered the founder of electrical science" (PMM); further, he "provided the only fully developed theory dealing with all five of the then known magnetic movements and the first comprehensive discussion of magnetism since the thirteenth-century Letter on the Magnet of Peter Peregrinus" (DSB). De magnete exemplifies pre-Baconian experimental philosophy by supporting new theories with empirically-derived experimental evidence, and these experiments were described in sufficient detail for the reader to recreate them. Gilbert also described his scientific instruments in great detail, including new ones such as the 'versorium': the first instrument to be used for the study of electric phenomena. Gilbert observed that the earth was a gigantic magnet and provided a physical basis for the Copernican theory. His work was cited by Digby, Boyle, Kepler and Huygens, and Galileo drew on Gilbertian magnetism to support his belief in a Copernican heliocentric cosmology in his Dialogo. - Visit our website to see more images!
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