990G Nicolas de Blégny 1652-1722

The art of curing venereal diseases, explain’d by natural and mechanical principles. By Nicholas de Blegny, … Done into English from the last edition of the French, by J. H. M.D.

London : printed for D. Brown, at the Black Swan without Temple-Bar, and G, Strahan at the Golden Ball in Cornhill, against the Royal Exchange. 1707.                               Sold


Octavo  3 copies in the USA – U.S. National Library of Medicine. University of Virginia. Yale University, School of Medicine. The ESTC citation of this book ( N16358 ) does not note a frontispiece in the Physical Description, the copies at King’s College and the Wellcome Library do indciate a presence, however the copies at Yale, National Library of Medicine , and the University of Virginia do not?  This copy has no evidence of a frontispiece.   First edition (This book is a translation of the fifth ( 1696. ESTC R23701 ) edition of ’L’art de guerir les maladies veneriennes’ translated by John Harvey ( J.H. M.D. ) In the Preface Harvey states that an earlier edition ( 1676 ) of this book ” Englished by Walter Harris, Doctor of Physick, lately of New College, Oxford ” was in fact an abridgement of the first 1673 French edition ” to which our Author has subjoin’d very considerable Corrections and Additions )

Contents generally clean and crisp. Contemporary calf worn, recently expertly, rebacked in style and retaining the original title label, the spine with five raised bands. A note in ink in a contemporary hand on the front pastedown reads – ” Samuel Cotton his book | bought at Mr Aylett’s Sale | 28th of March 1794 ” and above again in ink in a contemporary hand – ” Presented by Staff Surgeon | F.H. Cotton| Recd 19 Sept 1853

de Blégny must have been quite an entrepreneur to have been active in so many areas. He was a founder of a royal laboratory. It was only natural that he wanted to expand and organize the drug depot. As a result, he established a series of luxurious shops to sell products from the laboratory.

” de Blégny was a man of many talents: essayist, historian, physician, and surgeon, and a colourful and very controversial figure. He started his surgical career as a designer of trusses used in the treatment of hernia, but quickly climbed the social ladder to become physician to Queen Marie Therese (1678) and later to King Louis XIV of France (1682). He was a prolific author and left a number of works. These include monographs on hernia, venereal diseases, health, remedies for fever, and the use of coffee and tea. For some, he was a genius, for others—a quack. He was the founder of the first French medical journal, Les Nouvelles Découvertes sur Toutes les Parties de la Medicine in 1679. His interesting and innovative medical career ended in scandal. He was arrested in 1693 and detained for several years in Angers. He died in disgrace in Avignon in 1722.