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Plague in the Worth Library

‘The Plague is a Disease whose Nature is not to be comprehended by us… I do assert that the Nature of it is not to be comprehended by us, as well because it is a Punishment inflicted on us by the immediate Hand of Almighty God, who vouchsafes not that his Incomprehensible Wisdom and Essence (which is sometimes faintly described to us) should be narrowly pryed into by his Creatures; as also that it is in it self so mutable, that if we should seriously recollect our selves, and recount the several Pestilences wherewith all former Ages have been visited; we shall not thereby be able to instance in two of that whole number which have agreed with each other in all Circumstances…. Sometimes the Plague is accompanied with a Fever; and again, there are some Pestilent Fevers without the Plague…’

Paul Barbette, Thesaurus chirurgiæ: the chirurgical & anatomical vvorks of Paul Barbette, M.D. practitioner at Amsterdam (London, 1676), pp 343-6.

Jean de Renou et al., Dispensatorium Galeno chymicum
(Hannover, 1631), detail from title page.

Worth’s copy of the works of the Dutch physician Paul Barbette is but one of a host of works dealing with ‘that greatest Disease or Casualty of all, the Plague’. Though Worth’s collection held works on early plagues, such as the great Athenian plague described by Thucydides, it is clear that the vast majority of his plague collection focussed on contemporary tracts, published in the wake of the great European plague of his generation: the plague at Marseilles. His collection not only includes works by pre-eminent French physicians, such as François Chicoyneau, writing about their experiences treating the sick at Marseilles in 1720-22, but also English authors such as Richard Mead, who fundamentally disagreed not only with Chicoyneau’s theories about the causes of plague, and the role played by contagion, but also with his conclusions concerning symptoms and methods of treatment. Worth’s plague literature has little to tell us about the great medieval plague known as the Black Death: for him the focus was on the history of the last great English plague of 1665 and the contemporary French plague of 1720-22.

List of books in the Edward Worth Library specifically on plague
Anon (1681), Brevis et apologetica tractatiuncula de peste quae anno 1676 (Palermo). 8o.
Anon (1721), Lettres sur la peste écrites à un medicin de Bordeaux (Bordeaux). 12o.
Anon (1722), Le Capucin charitable (Lyon). 12o.
Barbette, Paul (1676), Thesaurus chirurgiæ: the chirurgical & anatomical vvorks of Paul Barbette, M.D. practitioner at Amsterdam. Composed according to the doctrine of the circulation of the blood, and other new inventions of the moderns. Together with a treatise of the plague, illustrated with observations. Translated out of Low-Dutch into English (London). 8o.
Chicoyneau, François (1721), Relation touchant les accidens de la peste de Marseille, son prognostic, et sa curation : du 10. decembre 1720 / par messieurs Chicoyneau, Verny & Soulier (Lyon). 12o.
Chicoyneau, François, etc (1721), Observations et reflexions touchant la nature, les envenemens, et le traitement de la peste de Marseille, pour confirmer ce qui est avancé dans la Relation touchant les accidens de la peste, son prognostic, & sa curation, du 10. decembre 1720 (Lyon). 8o.
Chicoyneau, François (1721), Lettre de Monsieur Chicoyneau conseiller du roy … : écrite à Monsieur de La Moniere … pour prouver ce qu’il a avancé dans ses observations & reflexions touchant la nature, les évenemens & le traitement de la peste de Marseille … du decembre 1720 (Lyon). 12o.
Chicoyneau, François (1721), Lettre de Monsieur Chicoyneau … écrite à Monsieur De la Moniere … Pour prouver ce qu’il a avancé dans ses Observations & Reflexions touchant la … peste de Marseille & d’Aix, du 10. Decembre 1720 (Lyon). 12o.
Chicoyneau, François, etc. (1722), Relation touchant les accidens de la peste de Marseille, son prognostic, et sa curation. Du 10. Decembre 1720. Par Messieurs Chicoyneau, Verny, & Soulier … (Lyon). 12o.
Diemerbroeck, Ijsbrand van, (1721) Isbrandi de Diemerbroeck … Tractatus copiosissimus de peste libris IV. distinctus … Accedunt alii ejusdem authoris tractatus medici varii, ad octavam paginam enumerati &c. (Geneva). 4o.
Gastaldi, Geronimo, Cardinal, (1684) Hieronymi … Cardinalis Gastaldi … Tractatus de auertenda et profliganda peste politico-legalis eo lucubratus tempore, quo ipse loemocomiorum primò, mox Sanitatis Commissarius Generalis fuit, peste urbem inuadente anno 1656. & 7. … (Bologna). 2o.
Gilbert, Claudius (1658), A soveraign antidote against sinful errors, the epidemical plague of these latter dayes. Extracted out of divine records, the dispensatory of Christianity: for the prevention and cure of our spiritual distempers. By Claudius Gilbert, B.D. and minister of the Gospel at Limrick in Ireland… (London). 4o.
Hecquet, Philippe (1722), Novus medicinae conspectus ubi ex sanguinis circuitis anomaliis secretionum errata, miscellanea succorum & humorum adulteria deducuntur; … Accedit appendix de peste, iisdem oeconomiae animalis legibus stabilita. … (Paris).
Hodges, Nathaniel, Loimologia· Sive Pestis nuperæ apud populum Londinensem grassantis narratio historica. Authore Nathanaele Hodges, M.D. è Colleg. Londin (London). 8o.
Kircher, Athanasius, (1658), Athanasii Kircheri … Scrutinium physico-medicum contagiosae luis, quae pestis dicitur (Rome), 4o.
Manget, Jean-Jaques (1722), Traité de la peste (Lyon). 12o.
Mead, Richard (1722), A short discourse concerning pestilential contagion, and the methods to be used to prevent it…. The eighth edition (London). 8o.
Paulinus, Fabius (1603), Praelectiones Marciae, sive Commentaria in Thucydidis Historiam, seu Narrationem, de peste Atheniensium. Ex ore Fabii Paulini … excepta, et edita. .. (Venice). 4o.
Pestalozzi, Jérôme Jean (1721), Avis de precaution contre la maladie contagieuse de Marseille, que contient une idée complette de la peste, & de ses accidens. Avec des moyens préservatifs & curatifs … Par M. Pestalossi (Lyon). 12o.
Ranchin, François (1640), Opuscules, ou Traictés divers et curieux en medecine, de Mre. François Ranchin.. (Lyon). 8o.
Ranchin, François (1721), Traité politique et medical de la peste. Avec l’Histoire de la Peste qui affligea Montpellier en 1629. & 1630. Les ordres qu’on y apporta; & la desinfection de la Ville. Par Mr. François Ranchin… Extrait de ses Opuscules ou Traités divers & curieux en Medecine (Liège). 12o.
Timaeus von Güldenklee, Balthasar (1691), Opera medico-practica. I. Casus & observationes practicae triginta sex annorum. II. Descriptiones medicamentorum singularium. III. Epistolae & consilia. IV. Consilium de peste. V. Responsa. VI. Consilium diaeticon. Quibus accessit Egidii van der Myle Hortolini Timaeani topographia & inscriptiones (Leipzig). 4o.
Trallianus, Alexander (1548), Alexandrou Trallianou Iatrou Biblia duokaideka … Alexandri Tralliani medici lib. XII. Rhazae De pestilentia libellus … Iacobi Goupyli in eosdem castigationes. Ex Bibliotheca Regia … (Paris). 2o.

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