MONRO'S IMPORTANT 1785 WORK ON COMPARATIVE ANATOMY, WITH 44 COPPER-ENGRAVED FOLIO PLATES
MONRO, Alexander. The Structure and Physiology of Fishes Explained and Compared with Those of Man and Other Animals. Edinburgh: Charles Elliot, 1785. Folio, later three-quarter tan calf, raised bands. $1750.
First edition of "the first important Edinburgh textbook on comparative anatomy," with 44 large copper-engraved plates, some folding (DSB).
Both son and father of prominent Scottish anatomists of the same name, Alexander Monro was one of the pioneers of the newly-emerging field of comparative anatomy. He and several of his contemporaries, including William Hunter and William Cullen, made groundbreaking discoveries regarding the nervous system, the lymphatics, and the thorax; Monro's own Observations on the Structure and Functions of the Nervous System advanced the field considerably and opened new exploratory paths. The handsome plates are preceded by several explanatory chapters, among them "A Description of the Heart, Vessels, and Circulation of the Blood in Fishes," "Of the First Discovery of the System of Absorbent Lacteal and Lymphatic Vessels in Birds, Fishes, and Amphibious Animals," and "Experiments on Hearing in Water." Blake, 309. DSB IX, 482-84. Not in Osler or Garrison and Morton.
Minor repair to one plate. Text and plates clean with only occasional marginal embrowning. A lovely copy.