The 2017 Olympia Book Fair is now closed.

We are excited to announce that in 2018 the Fair is relocating
to Battersea Evolution, 24-26 May 2018.
Carleton House
92 Malone Road
Belfast
BT9 5HP
Contact Peter Rowan
Telephone 02890 666448
Specialists Ireland, Irish History & Culture, Manuscripts, Maps, Literature, Economics, Sciences, History of Ideas, Travel, Rare Books in all fields (15th to 20th Centuries)
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Carleton House
92 Malone Road
Belfast
BT9 5HP
Contact Peter Rowan
Telephone 02890 666448
Specialists Ireland, Irish History & Culture, Manuscripts, Maps, Literature, Economics, Sciences, History of Ideas, Travel, Rare Books in all fields (15th to 20th Centuries)
P & B Rowan
Stand F02

FOLK BELIEFS ON THE POWER OF MATERNAL IMAGINATION ON THE FOETUS CONFRONTED

BLONDEL, James Augustus

The Power of the Mother's Imagination over the Foetus examin'd. In Answer to Dr. Daniel Turner's Book intitled A Defence of the XIIth Chapter of the First Part of a Treatise, De Morbis Cutaneis., London: Sold by John Brotherton 729

first edition small 8vo. [2], xi, [3], 143, [1 (errata)]pp., type ornaments and decorative initial letters, mid-nineteenth century buff cloth, spine gilt lettered, title page slightly dusty, else very good.

Note
ESTC t117265
Blondel (Paris, 1665/6–1734), physician, after a medical education at Leiden in 1700 established a practice in London and was made a licentiate of the Royal College of Physicians in 1711. "In 1727 he published an anonymous work entitled The strength of imagination in pregnant women examined; and the opinion that marks and deformities in children arise from thence, demonstrated to be a vulgar error. He later claimed to have written this work in response to Mary Toft's delusion that her unfulfilled cravings for rabbit actually caused her to give birth to a litter of rabbits. However, another member of the college, Daniel Turner, deemed Blondel's work to be an attack on a chapter, ‘Spots and marks of a diverse resemblance imprest upon the skin of the foetus, by the force of the mother's fancy’, in his book, De morbis cutaneis, a work on skin disease, first published in 1714. In September 1729 Turner responded with a pamphlet addressing Blondel's work. Later that year, Blondel issued a second work, The Power of the Mother's Imagination over the Foetus Examined. Blondel presented the whole issue of the power of the mother's imagination as a vulgar error, scorning the credulity of the medical practitioners involved in the Toft case. He represented the belief of the ‘imaginationists’ as irrational and mathematically unsound, using a deductive Newtonian approach to sustain his hypothesis regarding the maternal imagination. Blondel and Turner, in polemical pamphleteering common to this period, both presented arguments which gained support for many years. Their influence spread beyond London, and Blondel's 1729 pamphlet was translated into French (1737), Dutch (1737), German (1756), and Italian (1760). The widespread contemporary interest in this dispute suggests that Blondel, together with Turner, raised the phenomenon of the maternal imagination from an issue of folk belief to a concern of eighteenth-century medicine" [O.D.N.B.].
£750