The First Textbook of Madness - with 27 Plates

Des maladies mentales considérées sous les rapports médical, hygiénique et médico-légal.

Paris: Chez J.-B. Baillière, 1838.

Price: $3,750.00

About the item

First edition, with half-titles. With Atlas of 26 engraved of various mental patients by Ambroise Tardieu, bound in at the end of Volume II + one folding plan of the grounds and building of the asylum at Charenton. xviii, 678; [4], 864 pp Atlas has 4 pages of text, (title page and contents). 2 vols. 8vo. The First Textbook of Madness - with 27 Plates. Contemporary green morocco-backed marbled boards. Minor rubbing to extremities, some foxing, minor soiling, etc, generally sound. Garrison and Morton 4929 and 4798; Hunter & Macalpine, pp. 731-738; Norman Library 724-726; Wellcome II, p. 531; Heirs of Hippocrates 1268; Waller 2817 (1838 Brussels edition); Zilboorg & Henry, pp. 390-93.

Item #234349

One of the first systematic attempts to classify and describe the varieties of mental illness. "Esquirol coined the term monomania, a concept which anticipated the modern view of schizophrenia, and he was the first to distinguish hallucination from illusion. While at Salpêtrière, where he succeeded Pinel as chief physician, Esquirol introduced formal instruction in psychiatry and gained support for Pinel's humanitarian reform movements by lecturing throughout Europe ... Des maladies mentales ... served as a basic text in psychiatry for over fifty years." - Heirs of Hippocrates.

Of great interest, too, are the stunning plates by artist and mapmaker Ambroise Tardieu, which movingly illustrate varieties of depression, mania, schizophrenia, cretinism, etc. It is fitting, then, that the creator of what has been called "the first important iconography of the insane" (Norman), should also be the father of Auguste Ambroise Tardieu (1818-1879), the pre-eminent forensic medical scientist of the mid-19th century.