New Acquisitions for the W. Bruce Fye History of Medicine Library
Two new volumes were recently added to the W. Bruce Fye History of Medicine Library using funds from the Laurence and Hazel McColl Endowment Fund.
Details about these new books follow:
Woodall, John. The Surgeons Mate or Military and Domestique Surgery. London, Rob: Young for Nicholas Bourne, 1639.
The first book for naval surgeons in its original English binding.
A contemporary of Harvey, Woodall was surgeon to St. Bartholomew’s Hospital and to the East India Company. His Surgeons Mate was widely used by surgeons on land and at sea for many years. In it Woodall gives details of his methods of amputation. He recommended amputation through healthy tissue but “most of the discussion of the subject in his Surgeons Mate (1639) concerned division through the upper level of the dead tissue. Woodall explained that such excision was painless and that after a limb had been removed the surgeon could whittle away the dead tissue until it was almost gone; two or three men sufficed to help with the operation” (Wangensteen and Wangensteen, The Rise of Surgery, p. 18).
Published over a century before the appearance of James Lind’s famous classic, A Treatise on Scurvy (1753), this is the earliest medical work to give an account of the use of citrus fruits for the prevention of scurvy at sea. ‘Woodall knew the value of limes, lemons, and oranges, and gave them a prominent place in his account of the treatment of scurvy … [and the book] was made required reading for all naval surgeons in the East India Company’ (Garrison-Morton).
Hucher, Jean. De Sterilitate utriusque sexus, opus in quatuor libros distributum: cui annexus est liber de diaeta et theraphia puerorum. [Geneva,] Gabriel Cartier, 1609.
Sterility continued as a subject of major interest throughout the [seventeenth] century. Jean Hucher, Chancellor at the University of Montpellier, wrote on sterility of both sexes. Louise Bourgeois discussed the problem from various angles in 1609 under the title Observations divers sur la stérilité. Daniel Sennert of Wittenberg (1572-1637) in his Opera made the amusing statement that sterility was due to “imbecility” of the uterus. François Blondel (1613-1703) of Liège argued that small lean women were more fecund than large adipose ones. However, of all these works Hucher’s is by far the most extensive and thorough. He includes discussions of superfoetation and monstrous births, and hydrocephalus in children.
These and hundreds of other unique and rare titles are housed in the W. Bruce Fye History of Medicine Library.
Submitted by Hilary J. Lane
Instructor in History of Medicine
Coordinator – W. Bruce Fye History of Medicine Library
Entry filed under: History of Medicine.