Publisher Information: London: Longman, Rees, Orme, Brown & Green, 1827-31.
Bright, Richard (1789-1858). Reports of medical cases . . . 2 vols. in 3, 4to. iii-xvi, 231; xl, [2, errata], 450; , -724pp. Lacking half-title in Vol. I. 54 plates, including 47 hand-colored engraved plates by W. Say (1768-1834) after F. R. Say (d. 1858), and 7 uncolored lithographed plates (4 folding), with explanations. London: Richard Taylor for Longman, Rees, Orme, Brown & Green, 1827-1831. 315 x 254 mm. 20th century half morocco, cloth boards, spines faded. Light marginal dampstains, two or three marginal tears repaired, but very good. “Library of the Medical Faculty, McGill College” in 19th-century hand on all titles. Bookplate.
First Edition. One of the rarest and most ambitious English medical books of the early 19th century. Information in the publisher’s ledgers (now part of the Longman archive held at the Reading University Library), indicates that the Reports was printed on commission at Bright’s expense, in lots of from five to fifty copies as ordered. According to the ledgers, 243 copies of Vol. I and 171 copies of both parts of Vol. II were sold between 26 September 1827 and 5 September 1861, when the last remaining copies were destroyed in the fire that consumed Longman’s premises at Paternoster Row.
The first volume of Bright’s series of case histories correlating clinical and pathological phenomena is most famous for its classic description of the complex of kidney disorders collectively and eponymically known as “Bright’s disease.” Bright was the first to distinguish between renal and cardiac edema, and the first to link renal edema and the presence of albumin in the urine with particular structural changes in the kidneys observed post-mortem. The second volume, divided into two parts, is entirely devoted to neuropathology, and contains detailed case histories illustrating brain tumors, hydrocephalus, ruptured intercranial aneurysm, hysteria, epilepsy, post-traumatic necrosis of the tips of the front and temporal lobes, and staining of the meninges in jaundice, as well as many other examples of congenital, neoplastic, infectious and vascular diseases of the brain.
The work’s engraved plates, meticulously hand-colored to accord with Bright’s descriptions of the specimens examined, are among the most beautiful of medical illustrations. Most were drawn by Frederick Richard Say, a distinguished portraitist whose portrait of Bright now hangs in the Royal College of Physicians of London. “In order to achieve the most poignant reproductions of his post-mortem material, Bright was probably required to bring Say to the autopsy room whenever a specimen of interest arose. Say presumably produced a water color image of the specimen on the spot which was subsequently copied by the engraver” (Fine, p. 779). Say’s father William, who produced the majority of the plates, used mezzotint variously combined with line-engraving, stipple, and soft-ground etching to create the printed images.
Garrison-Morton.com 2285 & 4206. Norman 341. Goldschmid, pp. 126-127. Fine, “Pathological specimens of the kidney examined by Richard Bright,” Kidney International 29 (1986), pp. 779-783. Peitzman, “Bright’s disease and Bright’s generation—toward exact medicine at Guy’s Hospital,” Bulletin of the History of Medicine 55 (1981), pp. 307-321.Book Id: 46763