Publisher Information: London: T. H. For Edward Dod, 1646.
Browne, Thomas (1605-1682). Pseudodoxia epidemica: or, enquiries into very many received tenents, and commonly presumed truths. Folio. , 386pp. Lacking final blank. London: T.H. for Edward Dod, 1646. 272 x 178 mm. 19th century calf, with arms of Sir William Stirling-Maxwell (1818-78) on front and back covers, some wear at spine and edges. Margin of first leaf expertly repaired, tear in title also repaired, title a bit soiled, but a very good copy. Stirling-Maxwell’s very large armorial bookplate inside front cover.
First Edition, second state, with the imprint as above. In his second and largest work, often referred to as “Browne’s Vulgar Errors,” Browne drew upon his many years of reading, observation and experimental investigation to refute popular misconceptions in the fields of history, folklore, science, philology, natural history, medicine and embryology. Browne conducted numerous experiments in physics, comparative anatomy and biology, many of which were reported in Pseudodoxia epidemica; he also coined the term “electricity” (first printed here) to describe certain electromagnetic phenomena. “Except in matters of religious faith, [Browne] was unwilling to accept anything without carefully examining it in the light of such facts as he could gather. He has thus expressed himself regarding his own attitude: ‘In philosophy, where truth seems double-faced, there is no man more paradoxical than myself, but in divinity, I love to keep to the road’“ (Keynes, p. 51).
This copy displays the probable second state of the title, with the imprint reading “Printed by T.H. for Edward Dod, and are to be sold in Ivie Lane.” The probable first state, which is scarcer, has the imprint reading “Printed by Tho. Harper for Edvvard Dod.” Keynes, Thomas Browne, 73B. Norman 358. Wing B-5159.Book Id: 43626