8vo., pp. xii, ; a very good, crisp copy in contemporary quarter calf and marbled boards (rubbed), competently rebacked.
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First edition, dedicated to John Hope of the University of Edinburgh, and written with the assistance of Arthur Lee of Virginia, winner of the Hope Medal in 1763.
The physician and miscellanous writer John Berkenhout (1726-1791) served in the Prussian and English infantry before commencing the study of medicine at Edinburgh in 1760. His Clavis was published while he was a student, and a second edition appeared in 1789. He practised in Isleworth, Bury St. Edmunds, Winchester and Bath, and spent some time in America from 1778. ‘Berkenhout was a versatile man. His deep knowledge of natural history, botany, and chemistry was coupled with an extensive acquaintance with classical and modern literature. He was familiar with the French, German, Swedish, Dutch, and Italian languages, was a good mathematician, and is said to have been skilled in music and painting’ (Oxford DNB).
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