Examen du Livre des Recreations Mathematiques, et de ses Problemes en Geometrie, Mecanique, Optique et Catoptrique. Où sont aussi discutées & restablies plusieurs experiences Physiques y proposées. Mathematics, Jean LEURECHON, Denis HENRION.
Examen du Livre des Recreations Mathematiques, et de ses Problemes en Geometrie, Mecanique, Optique et Catoptrique. Où sont aussi discutées & restablies plusieurs experiences Physiques y proposées
Examen du Livre des Recreations Mathematiques, et de ses Problemes en Geometrie, Mecanique, Optique et Catoptrique. Où sont aussi discutées & restablies plusieurs experiences Physiques y proposées
Examen du Livre des Recreations Mathematiques, et de ses Problemes en Geometrie, Mecanique, Optique et Catoptrique. Où sont aussi discutées & restablies plusieurs experiences Physiques y proposées

Examen du Livre des Recreations Mathematiques, et de ses Problemes en Geometrie, Mecanique, Optique et Catoptrique. Où sont aussi discutées & restablies plusieurs experiences Physiques y proposées

Paris, Chez Rolet Boutonné, 1638 [second edition]/ 1630.

Octavo (170 × 105 mm), four parts bound as one volume, [xvi], 280; 64 (last blank); [63]-106, [12] (index, last three blank); and 39, [1] (blank) pages with woodcut printer's devices on the four title pages, and 84 illustrations throughout (approximately 80 woodcut illustrations and a few type-set diagrams). There are five leaves missing from the 'Troisième Partie' (F4, F5, G1, G4 and G5: pages 85-90, 95-96, and 101-104).

Nineteenth century half calf and marbled boards (now lacking the leather corner-pieces, revealing earlier full vellum boards underneath); covers a little worn; light tidemark to the bottom inner corner of the text block throughout; a little worming to the top (blank) margin of the first 25 leaves; insect damage to the bottom edge (extending at most a few millimetres into the wide blank bottom margins); first title leaf dusty and a little soiled; the five missing leaves notwithstanding, overall a very presentable copy.

The second edition of Claude Mydorge's expanded edition and critique of this popular early work of recreational mathematics, first published in 1624 and usually attributed to Jean Leurechon. Each of Leurechon's mathematical problems is reprinted here in roman type, with Mydorge's explanatory notes and criticism following in italic. The third part, albeit relatively insubstantial (only 44 well-illustrated pages), is devoted exclusively to fireworks and their construction, which probably explains the few missing leaves. The subtitle is: 'Composée d'un receuil de plusieurs plaisantes & recreatives inventions de feux d'artifice, plus la maniere de faire toutes sortes de fuzées, tant simples que doubles, avec leur composition, le tout representé par figures [sic]' [Comprising a collection of several pleasant and recreative inventions of fireworks, plus the manner of making all sorts of rockets, both single and double, with their composition, all represented in figures]. This third part, together with the second, made its first appearance in a 1628 edition of 'Récréations Mathématiques' published by Charles Osmont at Rouen. Their authorship has not been established (HEEFER, Albrecht: 'Récréations Mathématiques (1624), A Study on its Authorship, Sources and Influence', revised 7 October 2004).

The fourth part, 'Nottes [sic] sur les Recreations ...' is by D.H.P.E.M. [Denis Henrion, Professeur ès Mathématiques].

Claude Mydorge (1585-1647), French mathematician, was a friend of René Descartes, with whom he shared a strong interest in optics and the nature of vision. 'Mydorge's first major work was the "Examen du livre des Récréations mathématiques", published in 1630. As the title suggests, it was a work on recreational mathematics and was effectively a critique of Laurechon's [sic] book on the theme ['Récréations mathématiques' by the French Jesuit, Jean Leurechon, writing under the pen name of van Etten, first appeared in 1624]. However, it was through his work on conic sections that Mydorge made the greatest scientific impact' (The Cambridge Descartes Lexicon, online).

Provenance: a 1713 signature on the first page; an early ownership inscription ('Micha[el] Hutchins His Book') on a preliminary page; 'G.S. Kingston Sept 1834' on the front pastedown: Sir George Strickland Kingston (1807-1880), the South Australian pioneer, engineer and politician (deputy-surveyor-general under Colonel William Light, co-discoverer of the River Torrens, first Speaker in the House of Assembly.

Item #110770

Price: $2,500.00