An Account of the Foxglove, and some of its Medical Uses, with Practical Remarks on Dropsy, and Other Diseases.
Birmingham: M. Swinney for G.G.J. and J. Robinson, 1785.
1st Edition. Hardcover. 8vo - over 7¾ - 9¾" tall. Very Good. Item #003752
8vo (207 x 133 mm). , xx, , 207  pp. Large folding hand-colored engraved plate by James Sowerby (2nd state with the artist's name and with lower leaves pointing to the left), unnumbered leaf with plate-explanation bound after p. xx; half-title mis-bound after p. vi, bound without initial blank leaf a1. Contemporary sprinkled sheepskin, spine ruled and tooled in gilt, later red morocco label lettered in gilt, marbled endpapers, sprinkled edges (light rubbing to extremities and spine ends, corners slightly bumped, single worm hole at upper joint). Text crisp and clean with just a little age-toning and rare faint spotting in a few places. A very good+ copy in original binding. ----
FIRST EDITION, "ONE OF THE CLASSICS IN PHARMACOLOGY" (Heirs of Hippocrates). The second issue with the colored folding plate (see Norman). Withering was one of the greatest medical botanists and his book is one of the most important pharmacological works. It contains the results of ten years of observations of the treatment of congestive heart failure with the leaves of the common foxglove (Digitalis purpurea). The folding plate is a reversed copy of the plate in Curtis's Flora Londinensis with two lower leaves pointing to the left and with the artist's name appearing lower right. "Withering [. . .] was graduated from Edinburgh in 1766 and soon enjoyed a successful practice in Birmingham. Despite his medical work, Withering found time to follow a number of other pursuits: he was a mineralogist, climatologist, inventor, cattle breeder, accomplished musician, and botanist. His first major scientific contribution, A botanical arrangement of all the vegetables naturally growing in Great Britain (1776), was a standard botanical work for many years. His fame, however, rests on his celebrated work with the foxglove plant (Digitalis). Beginning his research after hearing of an old country woman who used the herb to cure dropsy, Withering used foxglove to treat congestive heart failure with some success. Its introduction into the Edinburgh pharmacopoeia in 1783 and its subsequent widespread acceptance eventually led to its overuse and Withering's classic Account of the foxglove was actually written as a protest against such abuse. The book includes 163 cases involving the use of digitalis and is regarded as one of the classics in pharmacology" (Heirs of Hippocrates).
References: Norman 2255; Grolier/Medicine 49; Lilly Library Notable Medical Books 139; Eimas, Heirs of Hippocrates 1039; Honeyman 3131; Hunt 676; Garrison-Morton-Norman 1836; Waller 10378; Cushing W254; Osler 426. - Visit our website to see more images!
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