ESSAYS ON THE PRESERVATION & RECOVERY OF HEALTH.

(London: Richard Wilkin & Henry Bonwick, 1704). 178 x 113 mm. (7 x 4 1/4"). [22], 234 pp. FIRST AND ONLY EDITION.

Contemporary calf, skillfully rebacked, raised bands, later pink morocco label with gilt lettering. Ink ownership signature on pp. [ii] and 234, perhaps by same person (J. K----?). Wellcome II, p. 421, ESTC T59936 Some general light wear and scuffs to the boards, leather lightly crackled, edges rounded, but a solid binding in very good shape. Title page a little brittle due to quality of paper, moderate browning throughout and text occasionally a little lightened, a few negligible stains here and there, otherwise a very clean and legible copy of a scarce text.

Written by a preacher and poet, this uncommon work advocates the best foods and practices to preserve one's health. While apparently not a trained medical professional, Thomas Curteis (1690-1747) nevertheless expounds upon the relative "benefits and inconveniences" of diet, exercise, baths, and air, citing various medical works along the way. He criticizes wine and spirits, while lauding the benefits of apples, Peruvian Bark (Cinchona), Chocolate, Beer, and horseback riding as the best means to intake fresh air. Sprinkled among the health advice here are warnings against the use of charms ("insignificant unwarrantable and Heathenish"), "Cunning Men," and Quackish Medicines. Clearly written for the common man and inexpensively produced, very few copies appear to have reached the market; we could locate only one copy at auction in the last 30 years.
(ST14153)