Patrick's Rare Books

Meurdrac, La Chymie Cheritable et Facile, 1674

Meurdrac, La Chymie Cheritable et Facile, 1674

La Chymie Cheritable et Facile, en faveur des Dames. Par Damoiselle M. M. (Marie Meurdrac). Seconde edition. Paris, 1674. 

Original full brown leather binding with five raised bands and gold title text and details on spine. Corners bumped and leather scuffed. Chipped at top and bottom edges of spine. Front hinge cracked (board securely attached by cords) and rear hinge beginning to crack. Copious manuscript notations on front pastedown and first fly leaf (we mention one notation referencing the plague, “pestis”). Prior dealer’s penciled notes on verso of fly leaf. Text block free of markings. A clean, bright, and tight copy. Measures approximately 6 x 3 ½ x ¾ inches. 

The first edition was in 1666 (GM 6822). It is the first book on the topic of chemistry, pharmacy, and alchemy written by a woman and for women. Scholars have been divided over the years on whether or not the author and work were more alchemy or more legitimate chemistry (the definition being still somewhat fluid between the two in the 17th century).