A TREATISE OF THE SAFE, INTERNAL USE OF CANTHARIDES IN THE PRACTICE OF PHYSICK.

(London: Jeffrey Wale and John Isted, 1706). 188 x 115 mm. (7 3/8 x 4 1/2"). 20 p.l., 363, [3] pp.Translated from the Latin, with the author's approbation, by John Martin. FIRST EDITION IN ENGLISH.

Pleasing contemporary panelled calf, covers gilt roll border, sprinkled leather frame and central panel, the latter with stencilled frame, blind-tooled tulip cornerpieces, rebacked to style with sprinkled calf, raised bands, spine panels with gilt fleuron centerpiece, brown morocco label. Blake (NLM), p. 187; Wellcome III, 168; ESTC T64914. Half a dozen small stains or abrasions to boards, corners somewhat rubbed, minor foxing throughout, a couple of small stains or rust spots, other trivial imperfections, but an excellent copy, generally clean and crisp internally, the restored binding sturdy.

Written in response to being jailed for malpractice, this is a defense by a Dutch-born London physician of his use of cantharides, or Spanish fly, to treat bladder and kidney disorders. Groenevelt (1648-1615/16) received his medical degree at Utrecht in 1670 and moved to England in 1676, where he became John Greenfield. As a successful practicing physician, Greenfield promoted the use of Spanish fly, commonly known as an aphrodisiac, to treat a variety of ailments by purportedly modifying its toxicity with camphor oil. Greenfield's problems began when a woman he treated complained that the ingested cantharides had made her ill, sparking a fierce backlash by the College of Physicians that ended with Greenfield in Newgate Prison. Although Greenfield was eventually released, he never quite recovered from the offence. The present edition includes a scathing attack on the College by the author himself, a defense of Greenfield by translator and fellow physician John Marten, and an unusual, laudatory poem in praise of the author, written by satirist and provocateur Bernard Mandeville.
(ST15165)