CHARLETON, Walter. ~ Oeconomia animalis, novis in medicina hypothesibus superstructa, & mechanicè explicata... London: Roger Daniel and John Redmayne, 1659.
12mo (128 × 75 mm.), pp. [xxxii], 291, . Title with woodcut printers’ device, 6 engraved diagrams to text, woodcut and typographical ornaments. Some browning (mainly marginal) and a few leaves slightly fragile at edges. Contemporary English calf, sides with double rules in blind, plain spine also ruled in blind. Joints cracked but secure. A good copy.
First edition in Latin (issued simultaneously in English) of this important work in the history of physiology. ‘In 1659 Charleton published a mechanistic account of physiology in Latin (Oeconomia animalis) and English (Natural History of Nutrition, Life, and Voluntary Motion), which included the suggestion that there was no increase in volume when a muscle contracted. Charleton was here rejecting the Cartesian account which attributed muscle shortening to its inflation by animal spirit. Charleton’s assessment was confirmed experimentally by Jonathan Goddard in 1669’ (Henry in Oxford DNB). Wellcome II, not in Krivatsy (nor NLM online catalogue, which list the Amsterdam second edition of 1659 and later London editions only); Russell, British Anatomy, 133; Wing C3685. OCLC locates US copies at Sutro Library (Ca), Northwestern and Bryn Athyn only.