Aristotle's masterpiece

[Aristotle’s Masterpiece. ] The works of Aristotle, in four parts : containing I. His Complete master piece : displaying the secrets of nature in the generation of man ; to which is added, The Family physician.London: Printed for T. Walker, in Paternoster-Row, and sold by all the Booksellers, 1777.

Adopt This Book

The title of this book, a best-selling sex manual and guide to childbirth first published in 1684, may be familiar to James Joyce fans: Leopold Bloom rifles through a copy at a Dublin bookstall in Ulysses (1922). Popular in both America and England for over two hundred years, Aristotle’s Masterpiece became the most widely reprinted medical book in the eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries. In America, it appeared in Boston bookshops as early as 1685, and was still available for sale, with only minor revisions, in Soho shops well into the 1930s. 

Three very different versions of the text of the Masterpiece exist. Our new edition is a reprint of the third of these texts, originally published in 1710. This quite beautiful copy complements our existing collection of Masterpieces and adds several new illustrated plates not included in our other holdings. The Masterpiece was the subject of our 2012 annual Friends lecture, by historian Mary E. Fissell. Fissell drew on our collection of Masterpieces for her own research about the history and dissemination of this popular book.

Adoption price: $150.00

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