“IT HOLDS A POSITION SIMILAR TO THAT OF NEWTON’S PRINCIPIA IN PHYSICS” (WALSHE): FIRST EDITION OF SHERRINGTON’S THE INTEGRATIVE ACTION OF THE NERVOUS SYSTEM, 1906
SHERRINGTON, Charles S. The Integrative Action of the Nervous System. London: Archibald Constable, 1906. Octavo, original blue cloth. $2800.
First edition of this important medical treatise on the nervous system, in original cloth.
“Sir Charles Sherrington did much experimental work on all phases of reflex action and of the functions of the nervous system. He demonstrated that most reflexes are coordinated; the nervous system functions as a whole, so that reflex action is not an isolated phenomenon; and that the true function of the nervous system is to integrate the organism, making it an individual whole, not just a collection of organs and cells” (PMM 397). “Fulton ranked Sherrington’s Integrative Action in importance with Harvey’s De Motu cordis, and F.M.R. Walshe, in his review of the fifth reprinting (1947), states that ‘it holds a position similar to that of Newton’s Principia in physics… The Integrative Actions of the Nervous System was based on six lectures delivered at Yale as part of the Silliman lecture series” (Norman II:1939). Sherrington won the Nobel Prize in 1932 along with Edgar Adrian “for their discoveries regarding the functions of neurons.” There is some debate as to whether the London edition preceded the New York edition or vice versa. The Constable edition is said to have been issued in October 1906, while the Scribner’s appeared in December 1906. However, it seems more likely that there was a single printing and each publisher took half the sheets, as the text and typesetting of both “editions” is identical, but for the imprint statement. Grolier 100 Medicine 84. Garrison-Morton 1342. Ex-libris The Royal Scottish National Institution, a turn of the century psychiatric hospital, with bookplate and stamps including on title page stamp (faint), copyright page, and last page of index. Morocco bookplate. Scattered pencil underlining and annotations.
Interior generally quite nice, minor soiling to cloth. A near-fine copy. Scarce.