Publisher Information: London: A. Hamilton for A. Millar, 1762.
Hunter, William (1718-83). Medical commentaries. Part I [all published]. Containing a plain and direct answer to Professor Alexander Monro jun. Interspersed with remarks on the structure, functions, and diseases of several parts of the human body. 4to. vii, , 103 [i.e. 113]pp. 4 engraved plates after van Rymsdyk. London: A. Hamilton for A. Millar, 1762. 282 x 230 mm. 18th century half calf, marbled boards, rebacked. Some foxing and toning but very good. Stamp of the Northern Ireland Royal College of Surgeons on the title.
First Edition of the only book-length text publication of Hunter’s career. The Commentaries were motivated by the dispute between Hunter, his younger brother John, his pupils William Hewson and William Cruikshank, and Alexander Monro secundus (1697-1767) over who had been the first to discover that the lymphatic vessels were absorbent—an achievement that Hunter described as “the greatest discovery both in physiology and in pathology . . . since the discovery of the circulation” (quoted in Porter, p. 27). The lymphatics dispute contributed to the growing rancor between William and John Hunter that led to a complete breach between the two brothers, culminating in William cutting John out of his will. Part II of the Commentaries was to have related to Hunter’s Gravid Uterus (1774) but the text was so delayed that its connection with the Commentaries was dropped. Porter, “William Hunter: A surgeon and a gentleman,” in Bynum and Porter, eds., William Hunter and the Eighteenth-Century Medical World (1985), pp. 7-34.Book Id: 43575