Publisher Information: London: J. Phillips for E. & C. Dilly, 1778.
Lettsom, John Coakley (1744-1815). History of the origin of medicine: An oration, delivered at the anniversary meeting of the Medical Society of London, January 19, 1778 . . . 4to. viii, 168pp. Hand-colored frontispiece plate, black and white version of the same plate bound between pp. 148-149. London: J. Phillips for E. & C. Dilly, 1778. 287 x 230 mm. (uncut). Original boards, rebacked, some spotting. Edges a bit dust-soiled and frayed, tear in front free endpaper repaired, minor foxing, but very good. Stamp on frontispiece of the Medical and Chirurgical Society of Aberdeen. Inscribed on title: “Ex libris Societatis Med. Chirurg. Aberdonensis Donor Gul. Saunders M.D.,” noting that this copy was given to the Society by Dr. William Saunders (1743-1817), founder and first president of the Medical and Chirurgical Society of London (later incorporated into the Royal Society of Medicine).
First Edition. Lettsom, a Quaker physician and philanthropist, founded the Medical Society of London in 1783; the Society, which is still active, is the oldest such organization in the United Kingdom. Five years later Lettsom delivered an oration before the Society on the history of medicine, “presuming that nothing could prove more interesting to the professor of the healing art, than a knowledge of its origin” (p. vi); the oration, with additional materials, was then published in book form. The work covers the history of medicine from the time of the Creation to the Trojan War (6000 – 1184 B.C.), and describes both Old and New World medical practices of the period.
This copy was presented to the Medical and Chirurgical Society of Aberdeen by Dr. William Saunders, a onetime member of the Medical Society of London who broke away from the MSL in 1805 to found the Medical and Chirurgical Society of London. Garrison-Morton.com 6381.Book Id: 43638