9. Herbarius. Augsburg, Hans Schonsperger, 1496.
Herbals, first printed towards the end of the fifteenth century just before the conception of nature was revolutionized by Renaissance science, were for practical use in the surgery or the kitchen. To aid understanding they contained numerous woodcut illustrations depicting plants alongside written remedies. The herbal displayed, compiled by Johann von Cube, is a Latin version of Gart der Gesundheit, and includes among its almost 400 woodcuts a depiction of a mandrake. It was supposed that this plant bore a resemblance to the human form and shrieked as pulled from the soil, a belief recorded by Shakespeare in Romeo and Juliet: "and shrieks like mandrakes torn out of the earth, / that living mortals, hearing them, run mad" (Act 4, Scene 3). The University's copy is hand-coloured.
Presented by Thomas Comber.
10. Euclid. The Elements of Geometrie ... faithfully (now first) translated into the English toung by H. Billingslie. London, John Day, 1570.
Euclid's Elements is a compendium of Pythagorian mathematical concepts organized on a systematic basis. This is the first complete English edition of one of the most important and influential texts of the Elizabethan age, which revolutionized science and technology, particularly in the field of navigation. This edition includes the first appearance of the influential preface by the alchemist John Dee, advocating practical applications of Euclid's text. The work numbers among the triumphs of sixteenth century printing for its splendid allegorical title-page, the woodcut portrait of the printer, John Day (the first to appear in an English book), and above all for its fifty-nine three dimensional geometrical cut-outs, among the earliest attempts to reproduce geometric solids in a printed book.
T.G. Rylands bequest, 1900.
11. Edward Jenner. An inquiry into the causes and effects of the variolae vaccinae. London, Sampson Low, 1800.
The second edition of the book in which Jenner announced his discovery of vaccination to the world. In describing the twenty-three vaccination experiments, this book became the foundation for the modern science of immunology. Jenner had this book printed at his own expense, commissioning four hand-coloured plates, depicting the cowpox pustule, from the artists William Skelton and Edward Pearce. These were a critical component of the book's success, and a major factor in the scientific acceptance of Jenner's work.
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edited by Katy Hooper, 2006