Two volumes. Second edition, revised by the author. Handsome contemporary full calf with five raised bands to the spines, compartments decorated in gilt and with titles in gilt. Red speckled edges. Marbled endpapers. Green silk ribbon page markers. A very good set indeed, the bindings square and firm with a little rubbing to the extremities. The contents with the attractive early nineteenth-century ink inscription of the physician Michele Nicolao Chiazzari to the front endpaper of each volume ("1804. 19. Juni. / Ex Libris Michaelis Nicolai Chiazzari / M.D. Liguris"), a little toning to the edges of the preliminary pages, some very occasional minor scorch spots (the odd one with a tiny hole at the centre) and light scattered foxing are otherwise in very good order throughout.
The most celebrated work by the French physician and pioneer of the vegetarian diet Philippe Hecquet (1661-1737). A highly accomplished doctor, Hecquet received the official hat of the University of Paris in 1697 after an examination of "rare success", and was made Dean of the Faculty in 1712. Widely known for his medical writings, Hecquet was one of the most notable, and outspoken, early advocates of vegetarianism. Influenced in particular by Porphyry, Hecquet argued that the consumption of meat interfered with digestion and the circulation of the blood, developing a digestive theory of "trituration" which emphasised the importance of the ability of the body to break down matter, with foods which were the most difficult, i.e. meat, being those most likely to have a negative impact. For this reason, Hecquet favoured the consumption of fish, although asserted that a diet in which fruits, grains, nuts and seeds replaced meats was the ideal, bringing humans closer to what he believed was their original state. In the present work – an attempt to prove that Lent is in fact beneficial, as opposed to harmful, to health – Hecquet lays out many of his key arguments for vegetarianism, and in so doing provides one of the first scientific defences of a vegetarian diet. This second edition, published one year after the 1709 first edition, incorporates the author's considerable revisions and additions, developed in response to public reaction and further research, and is also prefaced with the testimonies of several "doctors regent" of the Faculty of Medicine of the Paris University, declaring their approval and commendation of the work.
Stock code: 21317