Patrick's Rare Books

Browne, Myographia Nova, 1697

Browne, Myographia Nova, 1697

Myographia Nova: Or, A Graphical Description Of All The Muscles In Humane Body, As they arise in Dissection: Distributed into Six Lectures; At the entrance into every of which, Are demonstrated the Muscles properly belonging to each Lecture now in General Use at the Theatre in Chyrurgeons-Hall, London; And Illustrated with One and Forty Copper Plates, Accurately Engraved after the Life, with their Names on the Muscles as much as can be expressed by Figures: As also, with their Originations, Insertions, Uses, and divers New Observations of the Authors, and the Modern Anatomists. Together, With an Accurate and Concise Discourse of the Heart, and its Use; As also of the Circulation of the Blood, and the Parts of which the Sanguinary Mass is Made and Framed. Written by the Late Learned Dr. Lower. Digested into this New Method, by the Care and Study of John Browne, Sworn Chyrurgeon in Ordinary to the King’s Most Excellent Majesty, and Late Senior Chyrurgeon of His Majesty’s Hospital of St. Thomas, Southwark. London. Printed by Tho. Milbourn, for the Author, 1697.


Folio volume in contemporary full brown speckled calf with red title plate. Page edges sparsely speckled in red. First fly leaf a bit browned and edges a bit tattered. Text block clean and bright though edges a bit trimmed (no loss of text or encroachment on any of the plates). Prior 18th and 19th century owner’s inscriptions on front paste down and top edge of title page (with focal perforation in blank margin). Leather a bit scuffed, particularly at corners, which are also a bit bumped. Plates 19 and 20 adhered to each other by their blank sides. Several plates misnumbered but corrected in an early hand: (6, though correction scribbled over), 8, 13, 14, 18, 24, 25. Mostly corrected by writing over the number, but in a couple instances apparently by scraping off a spurious Roman numeral I.


Attractively set in Roman font. Copper plates demonstrate regional anatomy of the muscles. Dissections presented on artistic backgrounds and simulated, shall we say, vivacious bodily poses. Tab xxi, of the forearm, hints at the dissection method a bit by including the fileted skin still attached to the limb.


Ffep, frontis, title, 6 pgs prelims, 16 pgs preface, 6 pg prelims, 4 pgs subscribers, 3 pgs table, names of prior authors, 4 plates (fouth labeled Tab: I), text begins on I (B), 37 plates, text ends on 94, 4 pgs table, 7 pgs appendix (begins Ddd), 3 pgs index, blank.


Measures: 12 ½ x 8 x 1 1/8 inches.


Browne first issued his “A Compleat Treatise of the Muscles....” in 1681. It was actually a plagiarism of the text of Muskutomia by Wiliam Molins, and illustrations from the Tabula Anatomicae by Giulio Casseri. This book was substantially revised under a new title, “Myographia Nova” in 1684. This 1697 edition offered here is the fifth English edition (Latin editions were also issued), and is the first to contain the first posthumous publication of Richard Lower’s “An appendix of the heart and its use....” Ten editions of the Myographia Nova were ultimately printed. See Garrison-Morton 11684 as well as Waller 1510 & 1512. Heirs of hippocrates 422: “John Browne, physician to King Charles II, James II, and William III, was primarily a surgeon who practiced for a number of years at Norwhich and later was surgeon to St. Thomas’ Hospital, London. His most important contribution was one of the clearest early descriptions of cirrhosis of the liver.”