Narrative of the Discoveries of Sir Charles Bell in the Nervous System. Alexander SHAW.
Narrative of the Discoveries of Sir Charles Bell in the Nervous System
Narrative of the Discoveries of Sir Charles Bell in the Nervous System
Narrative of the Discoveries of Sir Charles Bell in the Nervous System

Narrative of the Discoveries of Sir Charles Bell in the Nervous System

London, Longman, Orme, Brown, Green, and Longmans, 1839.

Octavo, viii, 232, [2] (publisher's advertisement, verso blank) pages plus a frontispiece and a 16-page publisher's catalogue (dated May 1839).

Original brown ribbed cloth, ruled and decorated in blind, and lettered in gilt on the spine; cloth (rebacked, retaining the original backstrip) unevenly discoloured, and a little worn and bumped at the extremities; some leaves fingermarked (including the title leaf, which also has slight loss near the top left-hand corner where an uncut portion was opened carelessly); scattered foxing and minor signs of use and age; a decent copy, partially unopened (pages 105-112, 137-144, 157-160 and 229-232).

Offered with a copy of the Classics of Neurology and Neurosurgery Library 1985 facsimile edition of MAYO, Herbert: 'Anatomical and Physiological Commentaries'. Octavo, two volumes (originally published August 1822 and July 1823) here bound as one, [iv] (new preliminaries), [iv], 120, [ii], [iv], 142 (last blank), [2] (modern colophon, verso blank) pages plus a total of 15 folding plates. Gilt-decorated full leather, all edges gilt; covers lightly marked; an excellent copy with the 15-page booklet of publisher's notes loosely inserted. 'Heirs of Hippocrates' (see 1668) supplies some useful information: 'Seventeen years before this book was published, Shaw, brother-in-law of Sir Charles Bell ... presented a paper to the Royal Society in Paris in which he described the experiments of Bell on the physiology of the spinal nerve roots and the fifth and seventh cranial nerves. [François] Magendie ... the well-known French physiologist, was in attendance at the meeting and immediately set out to perform his epoch-making experiments. This book is a detailed chronological history of Bell's experiments, as well as those of his student and associate, John Shaw (1792-1827), Alexander's brother. Shaw also reviews much of the relevant neurological research of Magendie and [Herbert] Mayo ... The Bell-Magendie affair was one of the most acrimonious quarrels in medical history, and loyal supporters will be found for either of the principals among medical historians. Shaw's arguments are persuasive, giving priority to Bell for the discovery of the function of the anterior and posterior spinal roots. He presents some very convincing documentation, [and] accuses Magendie of opportunism and downright dishonesty'. The introduction to the booklet accompany Mayo's work has this to say on the matter: his book 'is remarkable in that it contains Mayo's account of his discovery of the functions of the Vth and VIIth cranial nerves, and his report of the experiments which lead to his findings. Unfortunately, publication of the work prompted a bitter and prolonged controversy with Mayo's former teacher, Sir Charles Bell, who had earlier investigated the subject and who contended with Mayo for honors in this discovery'. The bulk of the booklet is a detailed account by Dr Paul Cranefield into the three competing claims. Provenance: Professor Donald Simpson AO (1927-2018), eminent Australian neurosurgeon, with his bookplate (annotated with his purchase details: '9 July 2004 Nigel Phillips').

Item #118309

Price: $2,200.00

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