Publisher Information: Paris: Le Prieur, 1761.
Levret, André (1703-80). L’art des accouchemens, demontré par des principes de physique et de méchanique. , xvi, 466, pp. Frontispiece portrait and 5 folding plates. Paris: P. Alex. Le Prieur, 1761. [With:] Notes et additions recueillies dans les Leçons que donnoit l’Auteur dans les mois d’Aoust, Septembre & 8bre. 1762. Manuscript document in an unknown student’s hand. 170, pp. Together 2 items. 195 x 123 mm. 18th century mottled sheep, spine cracked but holding, hinges tender, light wear. 19th century ownership stamp of Dr. [Abel] Hureau de Villeneuve (1833-98) on several leaves.
Second edition, first published in 1753. This copy of the 1761 edition is augmented with 170 pages of manuscript notes in the hand of one of Levret’s students, based on the course of obstetrical lectures Levret gave between August and October 1762; the notes are keyed to the numbered paragraphs in Levret’s text. Levret was one of the most influential teachers of obstetrics in the 18th century, attracting students from all over Europe; the notes in our copy provide insight into Levret’s teaching methods and the materials covered in his courses. This copy was later owned by Dr. Abel Hureau de Villeneuve, French obstetrician and aeronautical pioneer.
“Levret’s monumental text L’Art des accouchements demontré par des principes de physique et de méchanique earned him the title of founder of rational obstetrics” (Hibbard, The Obstetrician’s Armamentarium, p. 39). Levret was the outstanding figure in French midwifery of the 18th century, and his books were the most widely used from the close of Mauriceau’s period to the early nineteenth century. “His logical deductions relative to the mechanism of labor, his careful handling of dystocia, and his resourcefulness in meeting emergencies, placed his teaching far in advance of his predecessors. He devoted particular study to low implantations of the placenta, to placenta praevia and the management of these anomalies. Whenever possible, he recommended that the placenta be separated at the edge rather than by boldly plunging through the body. He greatly improved the procedure of podalic version and emphasized the necessity of using but light pressure in pushing the fetus upward against the fundus of the uterus” (Cutter & Viets, Short History of Midwifery, p. 90; also pp. 63-64, 89). Garrison-Morton.com 6153 (1st ed.).Book Id: 44549