FOWLER, Richard.

An attempt to solve some of the difficulties of the Berkleyan controversy, by well-ascertained physiological and psychological facts;

[together with] A second physiological attempt to unravel some of the perplexities of the Berkleyan hypothesis.

Salisbury: printed by James Bennett, [1859] Stock Code: 121151
Reserve Ask us a question

Presentation copies

First edition, presentation copies, inscribed by the author to George Matcham with his "kind regards". In each pamphlet Fowler contends with Berkeley's arguments against matter, striving to explain their obscurities through the use of accessible biological and medical examples. Fowler (1765-1863) was the leading physician at the Salisbury Infirmary. His close family friend, Florence Nightingale, teased him for his devotion to his work on sensory impairment: "Nobody has any value now for Dr Fowler unless deprived of one sense at least. My star would be much more on the ascendant with him than it is if I were deaf or dumb or blind or all three" (letter to Julia Ward Howe, 1846). It is likely that Fowler met the antiquarian George Matcham (1789-1877) locally. One year after the publication of these pamphlets Fowler founded the Salisbury and South Wiltshire Museum; Matcham also lived in Wiltshire and had published a history of the county in 1834. His father was the explorer George Matcham (1753-1833), brother-in-law of Nelson, and in 1861 Matcham the younger published a collection entitled Notes on the Character of Lord Nelson.

Confused? Read our glossary


2 pamphlets, octavo (22 pp.; 7 pp.). Original paper wrappers printed in black, sewn as issued.


Lightly browned with some vertical creasing, a little dampstain to extremities and a few ink marks to wrappers, light impression to rear wrapper of first pamphlet from removed postage stamp, both overall in very good condition.


With the exception of framed items*, Peter Harrington offers free delivery on all UK orders of rare books, maps and prints placed through this website. Delivery to USA and the rest of the world is similarly free for orders over £200.

View Full Delivery Details



Established in 1969, Peter Harrington is one of the leading rare book firms in the world. It is a proud member of the Antiquarian Booksellers Association – along with ILAB, the PBFA and Lapada – and from shops in Mayfair and Chelsea, London, sells rare books, prints and ephemera to customers across the world.


Tel: +44 (0)20 7591 0220

ABA Antiquarian Bookseller Association ILAB International League of Antiquarian Booksellers LAPADA The Association of Art and Anatique Dealers PBFA Provincial Booksellers Fairs Association

Our Guarantee Page

Ask us a question


Contact us with details of the book you are interested in or selling and we will contact you

Sell Old Books Help me find a book