The Byrth of Mankinde, otherwise named The Woman's Book. Eucharius Rösslin, Thomas Raynalde, c. 1470 – 1526.
The Byrth of Mankinde, otherwise named The Woman's Book.
The Byrth of Mankinde, otherwise named The Woman's Book.
The Byrth of Mankinde, otherwise named The Woman's Book.
The Byrth of Mankinde, otherwise named The Woman's Book.
The Byrth of Mankinde, otherwise named The Woman's Book.
The Byrth of Mankinde, otherwise named The Woman's Book.
The Byrth of Mankinde, otherwise named The Woman's Book.
The Byrth of Mankinde, otherwise named The Woman's Book.

The Byrth of Mankinde, otherwise named The Woman's Book.

London: [Thomas Dawson] for Thomas Adams, 1613.

Price: $17,500.00

Quarto: 18 x 14.6 cm. [8], 24 pp. Collation: A4, B-O8

TENTH EDITION (1st 1545)

Bound in contemporary limp vellum (soiled, re-cased) with evidence of earlier stab-stitching. A very good and overall clean copy of a book usually found defective or marred by frequent use. In this copy: the title and verso of final leaf are soiled, there is scattered finger-soiling in the text, and a few light stains, several on the pages of the in utero woodcuts. Title with elaborate woodcut border, text with woodcut anatomical illustrations. Faded ownership inscription to outer margin of title. Manuscript list of ingredients(?) on f.f.e.p. Four copies in North America (Huntington, NYAM, Northwestern, NLM.).

Thomas Raynalde’s English rendering of Eucharius Roesslin’s groundbreaking “Der swangern Frawen und hebammen Rosegarten”(1513) (Rosegarden for Pregnant Women and Midwives). The text is illustrated with images of the female reproductive system, the birthing chair (“the woman’s stool”) and infants in utero shown in a variety of presentations.

“Roesslin’s obstetrical treatise, first published in German in 1513 under the title ‘Der swangern Frawen und hebammen roszgarten’, had an enormous impact on contemporary obstetrical practice and remained influential for two hundred years. [It] was the first to deal with obstetrics as a separate subject, and the first to print illustrations of the birth chair and the fetus in utero. It was also the first [modern] obstetrical work written especially for midwives, which was the reason for its originally appearing in the vernacular.” (Norman)

Thomas Raynalde’s work is a “corrected and augmented” version of Richard Jonas’ earlier (1540) translation of the Latin rendering of Roesslin’s work (made by the author’s son and namesake), “De Partu Hominis”(1532).

In his rendering, Raynalde has made “systematic and extensive revisions, including corrections to the earlier edition's medical terminology…. In the prologue to women readers Raynalde claimed that the book was being read out loud at confinements 'before the midwife and the rest of the women then being present' and the listeners were pleased 'to hear the book read by some other, or else, such as could, to read it themselves' (Hobby, 21–2). The work became the standard midwifery text, going through a total of thirteen editions before it was superseded in the 1650s.”(ODNB)

“Few medical authors can unambiguously claim to have written one of the most important works in their field: most important not simply in one language but in half a dozen, and not simply for a few years but for over a century and a half. Yet that distinction has long been given to the work of a largely obscure early sixteenth-century apothecary-turned-physician from Freiburg, Worms, and Frankfurt, one Eucharius Rösslin (c.1470–c.1526).

“His Der Swangern Frauwen und Hebammen Rosegarten (Rosegarden for Pregnant Women and Midwives), first published in Strasbourg and Hagenau in 1513, went through at least sixteen editions in its original form, was revised into three different German versions (each of which went through multiple printings), and was translated into Czech, Danish, Dutch, English, French, Italian, Latin, and Spanish, with almost all of these translations then going through their own multiple editions… That Rösslin's work was only the third obstetrical text addressed directly to an audience of midwives in a thousand years (after the ca. 6th c. Gynaecia of Muscio and Michele Savonarola’s (c.1385–c.1466) ‘Ad mulieres ferrarienses’) also places it in an important position in the history of the professionalization of midwifery… While it remains to be determined how frequently midwives themselves read the text, it is clear that both physicians and laypersons used the Rosegarten and later adaptations as the basis for medical training and as a reference for information on generation.”(Monica Green, The Sources of Eucharius Rösslin's ‘Rosegarden for Pregnant Women and Midwives' (1513), in Medical History, 2009 Apr; 53(2): 167–192.).

STC 21162; ESTC S123264