(London: Edward Allde, 1602). 181 x 123 mm. (7 1/8 x 4 3/4"). 4 p.l., 68 pp.,  leaves (last blank). FIRST EDITION.
Early 20th century quarter calf over marbled paper boards, raised bands, red morocco label. Front pastedown with North Library shelf label of the Earls of Macclesfield; final blank with a series of Latin and French epigrams in a contemporary hand, and the name "Thomas." Wellcome I, 1508; STC 5446; ESTC S105025. Paper boards lightly soiled and chafed, first and last leaves a little browned and soiled, occasional printer's smudges or small marginal stains, but an excellent copy, generally clean and fresh, in a binding with few signs of wear.
The last, and the rarest, work by an outstanding Elizabethan surgeon, this short treatise discusses possible cures for the disease now known as scrofula (a tubercular infection of the neck's lymph nodes). A distinguished naval surgeon and author of two earlier influential works (on syphilis and gunshot wounds), Clowes (1543/4-1604) begins here by offering three "Intentions Phisicall," or internal remedies: adjustments to diet, pills for purging, or powders and syrups. He moves on to six "Intentions Chyrurgicall," or direct treatment of the neck swellings, beginning with plasters to be applied, and moving on to lancing or outright extraction of the tumors. Finally, he offers "a most miraculous Cure"--the touch of Queen Elizabeth--and recounts the tale of a Dutchman who was cured after Her Majesty laid hands on his lesions. Unusually for his time, and for a man who was able to write in Latin, Clowes chose to compose all of his books in English. He wrote for the edification of young surgeons just setting out in the profession, and as DNB observes, he "believed that surgery was too exclusive, concealing its mystery in the Latin in which most of the literature was written and which few could read. Clowes's importance perhaps lies in his vigorous attempts to impose higher professional standards and open up the profession to a broader spectrum of the public by the use of plain English." This is quite a rare work: a search of ABPC and RBH locates just one other copy at auction, selling for more than $2,000 in 1966. (ST15635)
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PJP Catalog: ABAAvfMay20.040