THE BRAIN AND ‘THE SICKNESSES OF WINES’

Two Discourses. I. Concerning the different Wits of Men: written at the Request of a Gentleman eminent in Virtue, Learning, Fortune. II. The Mysterie of Vintners, or a Discourse concerning the various Sicknesses of Wines, and the respective Remedies at this Day commonly used. Delivered to the Royal Society, assembled in Gresham-Colledge.

London, Printed by R. W. for William Whitwood … 1669.

8vo, pp. [14], 230; divisional title-pages to each part, dated 1669; pale dampstain to the preliminaries and outer margin, else a very good copy in early nineteenth-century half calf and marbled boards, rubbed, joints cracked but cords sound.

£1600

Approximately:
US $2134€1889

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Two Discourses. I. Concerning the different Wits of Men: written at the Request of a Gentleman eminent in Virtue, Learning, Fortune. II. The Mysterie of Vintners, or a Discourse concerning the various Sicknesses of Wines, and the respective Remedies at this Day commonly used. Delivered to the Royal Society, assembled in Gresham-Colledge.

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First edition, the rare first issue. The work is usually found with a cancel title-page on which the titles of the discourses are abridged and mention of the Royal Society is omitted (possibly because only the second tract was so delivered).

Locke is supposed to have been seriously influenced by the first Discourse, which the original DNB nevertheless dismissed as ‘a very trivial essay’. Hunter & Macalpine rightly point out that Charleton was the first English writer to formulate a concept of brain function, noting the similar anatomic structure but different cognitive capacity of the brain among humans and other animals.

The second treatise is on the putrefaction of wine, and methods to ameliorate defects in wine. At the end (pp. 201-230) are ‘Some observations concerning the ordering of wines’ by Christopher Merret, with advice on the stages of fermentation and the time to rack wines. Merret was the first person to document that the addition of sugar to wine caused a secondary fermentation that turned it into a sparkling wine.

Of this issue ESTC records three copies only: American Antiquarian Society, UCLA, and Texas.

Wing C3694; cf. Bitting, p. 84 (the second edition of 1675); Simon, Bibliotheca Gastronomica, 335.

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