An Early English Edition of the "First English Treatise on Midwifery"
ROESSLIN, Eucharius. RAYNALDE, Thomas. Birth of Mankinde. Otherwise Named The Womans Booke. Set Foorth in English by Thomas Raynalde Phisition, and by Him Corrected, and Augmented. Whose Contents Yée May Reade in the Table Following: but Most Plainely in the Prologue. London: [By George Eld?] for Thomas Adams. , 1604.
An early English edition. Translated by Thomas Raynalde based on on a translation by Richard Jonas of a Latin edition (De Partu Hominis, et Quæ Circa Ipsum Accidunt) of Roeslin's German Der swangern Frawen und hebammen Rosegarten. "The Byrth of mankynde," first published in 1540 is the "first English treatise on midwifery" (Norman 1844). Small quarto in eights (7 5/16 x 5 5/8 inches; 185 x 143 mm). [8], 1-144, 143-146, 145-204 [ie 208} pp. Although there are pagination errors, this collates complete. With twenty-six numbered anatomical woodcuts on five leaves, included in pagination. Woodcut title-page. Numerous historiated initials, most being six lines and the first being fourteen lines. "Printer’s name conjectured by STC; publication date from colophon. " (ESTC S116049). We could find only two copies at auction of this edition in the past 50 years.

Contemporary full vellum. Title in manuscript ink on spine. Some rubbing and spotting to vellum. Back cover with vellum chipped and repaired. Some minor worming to bottom, inner margins, not affecting text or woodcuts. Some paper repairs to inner margin of first page of "Second Booke" (G5), only affecting a few letters. Overall a very good, crisp copy.

“Roesslin's obstetrical treatise, first published in German in 1513 under the title Der Swangern Frawen und Hebammen Roszgarten, had an enormous impact on contemporary obstetrical practice and remained influential for two hundred years, going trough over one hundred editions before the close of the eighteenth century. The work contained little original material, being primarily a survey of Greek and Roman obstetrical literature, but it was the first to deal with obstetrics as a separate subject, and the first to print illustrations of the birth chair and the fetus in utero. It was also the first obstetrical work written especially for midwives, which was the reason for its originally appearing in the vernacular. The first Latin edition, prepared by Eucharius Roesslin the younger, appeared in 1532 and was followed by eleven or twelve others. Most of the translations into other languages -including the English Byrth of Mankynde- were derived from the Latin version” (Norman Library, 1843).

"The work became the standard midwifery text, going through a total of thirteen editions before it was superseded in the 1650s." (Oxford DNB).

Garrison and Morton. Norman Library 1844 (1545 second edition). ESTC S116049.

HBS # 68113 $5,000