THE HEIR OF FRANCES WOLFRESTON'S BOOKS

An Enquiry into the Causes of Diseases in General, and the Disturbances of the Humors in Man’s Body … Together with some Observations, shewing wherein the Venom of Vipers, particularly that of the English Adder, does consist …

London, Printed for Thomas Basset … 1692.

8vo, pp. [14], 86, [4 (bookseller’s catalogue)], with the initial blank A1; short wormtrack to inner margin touching the odd letter, withal a fine, crisp copy, in contemporary mottled sheep, corners bumped, speckled edges; contemporary ownership inscription to front endpaper and rear cover of William Griffith.

£2850

Approximately:
US $3603€3328

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First and only edition, very rare, of a short medical work on blood, air, and poison by Stanford Wolferstan (b. 1652), youngest son of the noted book collector Frances Wolfreston (1607–1677).

Stanford was the beneficiary of his mother’s large library – or rather of the physick and ‘godly’ books unconditionally and of the rest as long as his siblings had access to them (see ODNB). Evidently having met with ‘Dissatisfaction … withal in Books’ on his chosen subject, Wolferstan resolved ‘to speak my own Thoughts’ – in which he attributes all diseases to an ‘aerial salt’ rather than to blood or humours, and describes experiments with adders that lead him to conclude their poison is airborne.

ESTC, which erroneously gives the author as Wolserstan, records four copies only: BL, Bodley, Wellcome; and US National Library of Medicine.

Wing W-3251.

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