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London: by Taylor & Spearing for the Author, 1869 Stock Code: 120113
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First and only known edition of this unusual and uncommon book on hair, including its physiology, diseases, and cultural significance. An ad at the rear reports that the author, Mr. Winter, "may be consulted on Diseases of the Hair at his Residence, 205 Oxford Street, London, between the Hours of 10 and 4." For those unable to visit in person, a questionnaire is provided that can be mailed to him with "a few Hairs for Microscopical Examination". The fourteen questions include, "Are the pores of the skin quite free from dandriff?"; "Do you suffer from heat in the head or Headache?"; "How long has the hair continued falling off?"; and "Do you observe a white particle adhering to the ends of the Hairs that fall off?".

The book begins with a brief discussion of the history of European views on hair, and describes the differences in hair among the "races of man". Magical and fashionable uses of hair are also mentioned. Winter quotes from various authorities, including physicians, scientists, and explorers, classical medical texts, and literary authors such as Homer and Chaucer. The second half is devoted to understanding the structure, growth, and diseases of hair, including "Forky Hair" which is "weak, withered, slender, and split at the extremities", and "Porcupine Hair", which is caused by "gross of excessive nutriment" that "renders it thick, rigid and bristly". Most conditions are ascribed to poor hygiene and nutrition, but grey hair he reports as being the result of the "dry, shriveled, or obstructed state of the bulbs... Violent emotions and poignant grief and especially continued anxiety, materially influence its development". This volume is uncommon. Worldcat locates seven copies in institutions, including the British Library, the Wellcome Library, Cambridge, Oxford, and Trinity College Dublin, and there are two copies recorded at auction. Inscribed "With Mr. Winter's Compliments" on the front free endpaper.

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Octavo. Original green sand-grained cloth blocked in gilt and black, all edges gilt.


Single page advertisement and single page questionnaire at the rear.


Just a little rubbed, foxing verso of the free endpapers, light toning to the text, text-block very slightly shaken, overall very good.


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