London: Printed for J. Hodges, 1740.
Octavo: 19.8 x 12.4 cm. (xvi), 289, (7) p. Collation: A-T8, U4
SOLE EDITION IN ENGLISH.
Bound in contemporary calf, spine gilt, later gold tooled label, discreet repairs to foot of spine and corners. Internally a very nice, fresh copy. Unidentified 18th c. armorial bookplate on front paste-down.
The sole English edition of “Nouveau recueil d'observations chirurgicales”(1702), by the Parisian obstetrician and surgeon Barthélemy Saviard, who practiced at the Hôtel-Dieu. The book details procedures Saviard performed for difficult pregnancies, prolapses of the uterus, breast cancer, anorectal malformations in children, fractures of the head and limbs, an operation on the slit throat of an attempted suicide, post-mortem dissections of pregnant women, treatments of dog, cat, and viper bites, a case of metastatic cancer, etc. The book concludes with details of medicinal preparations used by Saviard.
“This is a valuable collection of cases, containing a description of the tourniquet (using that name) as applied at the Hôtel Dieu in 1688 in a case of successful ligation of the femoral artery for a wound of that vessel. He refers to the pernicious atmosphere of the Hôtel Dieu and its effects on wounds, gives an interesting note on Frère Jacques (the lithotomist), describes a case of dermoid cyst of the ovary and one of congenital absence of the penis (penile agenesis), and gives details of some remarkable cases of lithotomy. It is a book worth having.” (Billings, History and Literature of Surgery, p. 59).
In Observation XXV (p. 35-44), Saviard recounts his examination of Marguerite Malaure, a woman with a prolapsed uterus, whom the physicians of Toulouse - having mistaken her prolapse for a penis- had diagnosed as a male-dominant hermaphrodite.
Malaure was ordered by the Parlement de Toulouse to live and dress as a man. Her subsequent attempts to live as a woman and to have the civil authorities recognize her as female were unsuccessful. When Saviard met Malaure in Paris in 1693, she was embracing the identity of hermaphrodite out of necessity. Dressing as a man, she supported herself by displaying her genitals and prolapse for a fee at public and private meetings of physicians and surgeons.
Saviard (having paid the fee) examined Malaure at the Hôtel-Dieu, correctly identified her condition, confirmed that she was in fact a woman (not a hermaphrodite, and not a man) and performed a surgical procedure to correct the prolapse. Malaure then submitted a petition to the king demanding restitution of her status as a woman. Saviard’s report of his examination and surgery, submitted to the court, was instrumental in securing legal recognition of Malaure’s sexual identity.
Blake, NLM 18th cent., p. 403; ESTC T112468