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Science, Medicine & Natural History

Rare books including first editions and copies in fine bindings related to science, medicine, and natural history.

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  1. A Victorian novelty card with a lace paperwork border.

    A Victorian novelty card with a lace paperwork border.

    A charming piece of Victorian ephemera, a card with an illustration of a reader with his nose stuck in a work of natural history. When the book is folded back, he is revealed with a huge grin and luxuriant beard. Learn More

    Date of Publication: c.1880s]

    Published: [No place,

    Stock Code: 111247


  2. Darwin Memorial.

    Darwin Memorial.

    This printed letter, signed by T. G. Bonney and P. Edward Dove as Honorary Secretaries of the Royal Society, invites the recipient to the unveiling of the marble statue of Charles Darwin by Sir Joseph Edgar Boehm, in the Great Hall of the Natural History Museum, Brompton Road, London, the unveiling to take place on 9 June 1885. The recipient is requested to confirm his intention of attending, so that a ticket of admission may be sent. Learn More

    Date of Publication: 1885

    Published: [London:]

    Stock Code: 111237


  3. Notes of a Naturalist in South America.

    Notes of a Naturalist in South America.

    First edition, presentation copy to the author's college, Christ's College, Cambridge, with the presentation bookplate to the front pastedown. The Dublin-born John Ball (1818-1889) was a politician, naturalist, and Alpine traveller. After leaving Cambridge he travelled in Switzerland and elsewhere in Europe, contributing papers on botany and the Swiss glaciers to scientific periodicals. Learn More

    Date of Publication: 1887

    Published: London

    Stock Code: 111224


  4. Nature versus Natural Selection: an essay on Organic Evolution.

    Nature versus Natural Selection: an essay on Organic Evolution.

    First edition. Charles Clement Coe (1830-1921) was educated at Manchester College, Oxford, and was appointed minister of the Unitarian Great Meeting chapel in Bond Street, Leicester. In this work, he defends evolution but rejects natural selection. The Scottish biologist J. Arthur Thomson gave the book a positive review, describing it as a very interesting and skilfully written critique of natural selection. Learn More

    Date of Publication: 1895

    Published: London

    Stock Code: 111223


  5. The Interpretation of Dreams.

    The Interpretation of Dreams.

    Authorised Translation of Third Edition with Introduction by A. A. Brill.
    First edition in English, first impression, first state (UK issue). With the publisher's tipped-in label stating that the sale of the book is "limited to Members of the Medical, Scholastic, Legal and Clerical professions". Intended to be a medical handbook, this book is not often found in such nice condition, and is the scarcer of the two states (the other being the first edition sheets bound with the Macmillan cancel title page for issue in America). Learn More

    Date of Publication: 1913

    Published: London

    Stock Code: 111197


  6. "The Florist's Guide, and the Cultivator's Directory;"

    "The Florist's Guide, and the Cultivator's Directory;"

    containing coloured figures of the choicest flowers, cultivated by florists; including ranunculas, carnations, picotees, pinks, georginas, polyanthus, auriculas, hyacinths, and tulips, with their descriptions, and an account of the most approved methods of culture.
    First edition of this highly attractive botanical directory, originally published periodically. Wilfrid Blunt describes Edwin Dalton Smith as a "considerable artist of small-scale work" (The Art of Botanical Illustration, 1950, p. 212). He was employed at the Royal Gardens at Kew for many years and contributed illustrations for Sweet's Flora Australasica (1827-1828). Learn More

    Date of Publication: 1827

    Published: London

    Stock Code: 111188


  7. Notes of a Botanist on the Amazon & Andes

    Notes of a Botanist on the Amazon & Andes

    being records of travel on the Amazon and its tributaries, the Trombetas, Rio Negro, Uaupés, Casiquiari, Pacimoni, Huallaga, and Pastasa; as also to the cataracts of the Orinoco, along the eastern side of the Andes of Peru and Ecuador, and the shores of the Pacific, during the years 1849–1864. Edited and condensed, with a biographical introduction, portrait, seventy-one illustrations and seven maps. In two volumes.
    First edition. One of Wallace's later works was this edition of the botanical papers and diaries of his friend and co-Amazonian explorer Richard Spruce, who had died in 1894. "This work best reflects [Spruce's] gift for analysis, description, and narrative, along with his dry humour" (ODNB). Spruce had been sent to South America in 1849 by Hooker, Bentham, and other botanists; Bentham was to receive, name, and distribute the plants he sent home. Learn More

    Date of Publication: 1908

    Published: London

    Stock Code: 110960


  8. Chinese Natural History Drawings

    Chinese Natural History Drawings

    selected from the Reeves Collection in the British Museum (Natural History).
    First and limited edition, number 313 of 400 copies. A handsomely produced facsimile edition of a selection from the important and stunning collection of natural history paintings collected by John Reeves (1774-1856), a collector and artist who was based in Canton as the East India Company's chief inspector of tea. "Reeves is best-known by specialists for his collection of natural history drawings, later deposited in the Royal Horticultural Society and the Natural History Museum of London. Learn More

    Date of Publication: 1974

    Published: London

    Stock Code: 110924


  9. Un souvenir de Solferino.

    Un souvenir de Solferino.

    First edition. Presentation copy from the author, inscribed on a blank before the half-title: "Monsieur Albert Dunant de la part de l'auteur", apparently in a secretarial hand. An excellent familial association: Albert Dunant was a state councillor for the canton of Geneva; this copy also carries his attractive etched bookplate and official autograph stamp on the half-title. Learn More

    Date of Publication: 1862

    Published: Geneva

    Stock Code: 110889

    Signed: Yes


  10. The Natural History of Barbados.

    The Natural History of Barbados.

    First edition of this important and attractive early work on the natural history of Barbados, by the Welsh-born clergyman and naturalist Griffith Hughes (1707-1758?). "In Barbados, Hughes developed the idea of publishing a book on the island's natural history. In 1743 he visited London with the intention of promoting this work and ingratiated himself with the leading scientists of the day, men such as Sir Hans Sloane and Martin Folkes. Learn More

    Date of Publication: 1750

    Published: London

    Stock Code: 110849


  11. A Treatise of Gunnery.

    A Treatise of Gunnery.

    First edition, uncommon. Well thought of essay "to deduce the rules of gunnery from the principles of motion and gravity, in a manner that seems plain and simple" (preface). Gray (d.1769), FRS 1732, Rector of Marischal College, Aberdeen 1764-9, although resident in London, friend of the bookseller and publisher Andrew Millar; "He was credited by Millar's friends Patrick Murdoch and Robert Symmer with clarifying Newton's philosophy for the poet James Thomson [described as a "gentleman well-versed in Newtonian philosophy"] who published A Poem Sacred to the Memory of Sir Isaac Newton in 1727. Learn More

    Date of Publication: 1731

    Published: London

    Stock Code: 110655


  12. And the Band Played On.

    And the Band Played On.

    Politics, People, and the AIDS Epidemic.
    First edition, first printing. Inscribed by the author on the half-title, "To Dennis — warmly, Randy M. Shults. San Francisco." A masterpiece of investigative reporting and an international bestseller, Shilts's expose on the spread of HIV/AIDS revealed how the epidemic was allowed to spread unchecked during the early 1980's, with treatment hampered by government apathy, political infighting and institutional incompetence. Learn More

    Date of Publication: 1987

    Published: New York

    Stock Code: 110638


  13. The Expression of the Emotions in Man and Animals.

    The Expression of the Emotions in Man and Animals.

    With photographic and other illustrations.
    First edition, second issue with the misprint "htat" on the first line of p. 208, and the plates numbered in arabic rather than roman ("it seems probable that the arabic set was the earlier", Freeman). Expression of the Emotions completed Darwin's great cycle of evolutionary writings, "written, in part at least, as a confutation of the idea that the facial muscles of expression in man were a special endowment" (Freeman), a subject originally intended for the Descent of Man. Learn More

    Date of Publication: 1872

    Published: London

    Stock Code: 110565


  14. Lectures on Human and Animal Psychology.

    Lectures on Human and Animal Psychology.

    Translated from the Second German Edition by J. E. Creighton and E. B. Titchener.
    First edition in English, originally published in 1863 as Vorlesungen über die Menschen- und Thierseele. Wundt is remembered as the founder of experimental psychology (Garrison and Morton 1463 & 4976), and is particularly associated with structuralism, the first of the major schools of psychology to emerge. A competing school, functionalism, formed as a reaction to structuralism and was principally influenced by the work of William James and the evolutionary theory of Charles Darwin, especially as expressed by him in The Descent of Man (1871) and The Expression of the Emotions in Man and Animals (1872). Learn More

    Date of Publication: 1894

    Published: London

    Stock Code: 110264


  15. Istoria e dimostrazioni intorno alle macchie solari e loro accidenti

    Istoria e dimostrazioni intorno alle macchie solari e loro accidenti

    comprese in tre lettere scritte all’Illustrimissimo Signor Marco Velseri Linceo.
    First edition, the so-called export issue, of Galileo's earliest published endorsement of the Copernican theory. The book is in the form of three letters to his fellow academician Marcus Welser of Augsburg. The book is illustrated with the famous series of sunspot observations made by Galileo in 1612 during the summer months. Galileo demonstrated that sunspots were not small satellites, as the traditional Aristotelian interpretation suggested. Learn More

    Date of Publication: 1613

    Published: Rome

    Stock Code: 110141

    Signed: Yes


  16. Elogi di Galileo Galilei e di Bonaventura Cavalieri.

    Elogi di Galileo Galilei e di Bonaventura Cavalieri.

    First collected edition, scarce: not in Copac, OCLC locates ten copies. Paolo Frisi (1728-1784) was an Italian mathematician, astronomer and physicist who is best know for his work in hydraulics. "His most significant contributions to science, however, were in the compilation, interpretation, and dissemination of the work of other scientists... The commentaries he wrote on the work of such scientists as Galileo Galilei and Sir Isaac Newton were influential in bringing their ideas to the attention of a wide audience" (Encyclopaedia Britannica online). Learn More

    Date of Publication: 1778

    Published: Milan

    Stock Code: 110130


  17. Archaeologiae Philosophicae:

    Archaeologiae Philosophicae:

    sive Doctrina antiqua de Rerum Originibus.
    First edition of one of the primary works of the natural philosopher and headmaster Thomas Burnet (c.1635-1715), in which he attempted "to demonstrate that his theory of the earth was also compatible with what could be known of ancient accounts of creation" (ODNB). "Burnet's stunning theory of earth formation was an attempt to twist the arm of the Bible's creation story until it submitted to scientific knowledge. Learn More

    Date of Publication: 1692

    Published: London

    Stock Code: 110054


  18. The Method to Science.

    The Method to Science.

    First edition of one of the principal works of the Roman Catholic controversialist and philosopher John Sergeant (1623-1707). "A more thoroughgoing Aristotelian critique of Locke came from... John Sergeant, who, as a Catholic, stood outside the clerical assaults emanating from the established church. Sergeant's critique of Locke was part of a more wide-ranging critique of what he called ‘ideists', a category which yokes Descartes and Locke together. Learn More

    Date of Publication: 1696

    Published: London

    Stock Code: 110050


  19. .

    Opere, divise in quattro tomi, in questa nuova edizione accresciute de molti cose inedite.

    First complete collected edition of Galileo's works, the third overall, and the first to include the Dialogo, along with other material published here for the first time. Galilei's Opere, first published in two volumes in 1656 in Bologna by Carlo Manolessi, was reprinted with some revision and the addition of a third volume in 1718 in Florence by Tommasso Bonaventure, assisted by Guido Grandi and Benedetto Bresciani. Learn More


    Date of Publication: 1744

    Published: Padua

    Stock Code: 109916


  20. Parrots in Captivity.

    Parrots in Captivity.

    First edition of the first book devoted exclusively to parrots in captivity, the best-known work of W. T. Greene, a popular and authoritative writer on aviculture. Many Australian parrots are described and illustrated, including a number of rarities. The plates are very appealing. Learn More

    Date of Publication: 1884

    Published: London

    Stock Code: 109909


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