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Doutes d'un provincial, proposés à messieurs les médecins-commissaires, chargé par le roi, de l 'examen du magnétisme animal. by  Antoine Joseph Michel] [Servan - 1784 - from Black Dog Rare Books (SKU: 78)

Doutes d'un provincial, proposés à messieurs les médecins-commissaires, chargé par le roi, de l 'examen du magnétisme animal.

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Doutes d'un provincial, proposés à messieurs les médecins-commissaires, chargé par le roi, de l 'examen du magnétisme animal.

by [Servan, Antoine Joseph Michel]

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About This Item

8vo. [4], 134, [2 blank] pp. Contemporary grey wrappers. The half-title with a contemporary annotation identifying the author. Some dog ears, wrappers worn and spine damaged. Otherwise in good condition and untrimmed, leaving deckle edges and point holes intact.

First and only edition of a clever defense of animal magnetism (mesmerism).

Franz Mesmer formulated a theory of a universal magnetic fluidum ('animal magnetism') which permeated all things, including human beings. In Mesmer's view, disease is an obstruction of this fluidum and his task as a doctor was to remove this obstruction. At first he used magnets, but over time he relied on touch and even speech to transmit the fluid into his patients.

Although Mesmer was convinced that his method was purely scientific, many of his contemporaries regarded him as a charlatan and Mesmer struggled all his life for scientific recognition. In 1784 an appointed commission of the French Academy of Sciences investigated Mesmer's discovery. The commission, boasting such eminent members as Benjamin Franklin and Lavoisier, finally denied the existence of animal magnetism and, subsequently, its supposed curing effect.

The present pamphlet was written in response to the Academy's conclusion, staunchly defending animal magnetism. "This pamphlet is the best of the many attacks published by pro-mesmerists against the report of the first Royal Commission" (Norman).

Caillet 10163; The Haskell F. Norman Library of Science and Medicine M-143; cf. Betsy van Schlun, Science and Imagination. Mesmerism, Media and the Mind (2007), pp. 27-49.

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Details

Bookseller
Black Dog Rare Books NL (NL)
Bookseller Inventory #
78
Title
Doutes d'un provincial, proposés à messieurs les médecins-commissaires, chargé par le roi, de l 'examen du magnétisme animal.
Author
[Servan, Antoine Joseph Michel]
Book condition
Used
Quantity available
1
Publisher
Prault
Place of Publication
Paris
Date published
1784
Keywords
Mesmerism
Bookseller catalogs
Medicine;

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Black Dog Rare Books

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This seller has earned a 5 of 5 Stars rating from Biblio customers.
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Amersfoort
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About Black Dog Rare Books

Dedicated to the weird and wonderful, Black Dog Rare Books was established in December 2018 by Steven de Joode. Based in Amersfoort, The Netherlands, we offer quirky, unusual, interesting and rare books and ephemera from four centuries.Steven has a BA (Hons.) in German and an MA (Hons.) in Book and Manuscript Studies (University of Amsterdam). Having worked as a bibliographer at the National Library of the Netherlands and as a cataloger and dealer at Antiquariaat Forum, Steven has broad experience in the world of rare books.If you have any queries, wants or comments, please get in touch.

Glossary

Some terminology that may be used in this description includes:

wrappers
The paper covering on the outside of a paperback.  Also see the entry for pictorial wraps, color illustrated coverings for...[more]
edges
The collective of the top, fore and bottom edges of the text block of the book, being that part of the edges of the pages of a...[more]
spine
The outer portion of a book which covers the actual binding. The spine usually faces outward when a book is placed on a shelf....[more]

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