London: Printed for John Taylor and John Wyat, 1691.
1st Edition. Hardcover. 8vo - over 7¾ - 9¾" tall. Very Good. Item #003437
8vo (168 x 105 mm). , 158, , 28,  pp., including half-title and final errata leaf to second part. Bound in contemporary speckled sheepskin, spine with gilt-lettered morocco label, original endpapers (rebacked, extremities worn, boards warped, corners bumped and scuffed). Text somewhat browned (title stronger), some dust-soiling, minor scattered spotting. Provenance: from the Stephen White Collection. Collated and complete. ----
Wing B-3959; Fulton 193. RARE FIRST EDITION and his last book published in his lifetime. "Though this was the last tract published during Boyle's life, it is less important than 'The History of Air', which came out a few months after his death. There is an interesting preamble in the form of a letter to Oldenburg in which Boyle expresses the hope that his observations 'may be taken in good part from a Person . . . that was never a Professor of Philosophy, nor so much as a Gownman' [. . .] The Experimenta are a most diverse collection 'thrown together' with Boyle's characteristic casualness. In Chapter I he sets down a series of interesting observations on lodestones in which the influence of heating, rate of cooling, and of thermal gradients upon their magnetic properties is described at length. Chapter II is devoted to a further analysis (see his 'Essay on Gems') of the specific gravity and other physical properties of diamonds, and the third chapter deals again [. . .] with the influence of various chemical substances on the colour of solutions of vegetable pigments. One is surprised on turning to Chapter IV to find that it treats of the 'Art of Medicine', and the first case recorded (pp. 67-73) is as remarkable as it is well described. A knight of Boyle's acquaintance suffered an incomplete flaccid hemiplegia following a depressed fracture of the side of his head. Though some of the bone had been removed by the 'Chirurgeons' after the accident, the paralysis continued with little change for a period of twenty-four weeks, when the wound was again opened and a spicule of bone removed that was found pressing into the dura mater. Within five hours the man could move his little finger (for the first time in eight months), and after two or three days his whole arm recovered. Boyle did not appreciate the real significance of this extraordinary case; but, looking back at it now, one realizes how close he had come to the discovery of the motor area! For this, however, the world had to wait until the advent of Hitzig, Ferrier, and Sherrington -- some two hundred years later." (Fulton, pp. 132-33). - Visit our website to see more images!
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