Amsterdam: Lowjis Elzevier, 1651.
Duodecimo: 13 x 7.5 cm. 568,  pp. Collation: A-Z12, Aa12 (complete with final blank)
SECOND EDITION (printed in the year of the London first.)
Bound in contemporary vellum with later citron label, gilt, white and gold silk end-bands, original green silk book marker. Text crisp, bright and attractive, complete with the engraved title page.
The London first edition was followed by three Amsterdam editions; "It is usually assumed that the Elzevir edition was the first of these" (Keynes). There are two issues; the other has a London imprint on the title page.
"The most important book on the subject to appear during the 17th century . . . The chapter on midwifery in this book is the first work on that subject to be written by an Englishman" (Garrison-Morton-Norman 467).
“Harvey developed the first fundamentally new theory of generation since antiquity and his work represents a major advance in the study of animal reproduction; he himself considered his ‘De generatione animalium’ to be of greater scientific importance than ‘De motus cordis’.
Theories of generation current in Harvey’s time, based upon the writings of Aristotle and Galen, held that the fetus was formed by the action of semen upon menstrual blood, but Harvey argued, based upon his studies of developing chick and deer embryos, that all animal life arose from eggs ('ex ovo omnia'). This principle has been of crucial importance in the history of embryology. Harvey further maintained, contrary to the prevailing belief
in preformation, that the fetus developed gradually, a process that he termed 'epigenesis'.
“De generatione animalium covers all aspects of conception and birth; its chapter on parturition was the first original work on the subject by the
Like “De motu cordis”, Harvey’s “On Generation of Animals” was equally firmly based upon experiment. It is notable for the insistence that all living matter is generated out of eggs, so that spontaneous generation is impossible” (PMM).
Keynes, 36 ; Waller, 4120 ; Wellcome, III, 220 ; NLM, 5344 ; Garrison-Morton, 467, & Norman, 1011; Willems 1129; PMM, 127 (note)