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Memoire sur la decouverte du magnetisme animal. Bound with works by d'Eslon and Roussel de Vauzesme
Geneva & Paris: Didot, 1779. Mesmerism Mesmer, Franz Anton (1734-1815). (1) M?ire sur la d?uverte du magn?sme animal. 8vo. [2], vi, 85, [3]pp. Geneva & Paris: Didot, 1779. Bound with: (2) Eslon, Charles d' (1750-1786). Observations sur le magn?sme animal. 8vo. [4], 151pp. London & Paris: Didot [etc.], 1780. Together 2 works. 167 x 105 mm. Bound with a third unrelated work in 18th century quarter sheep gilt, boards, top of spine expertly repaired. Fine.(1) First Edition. The manifesto of animal magnetism. On the eve of the French Revolution, Mesmer captured the imagination of the Parisian public with his remarkable ability to effect cures by throwing his patients into "mesmeric" trances. As much a social movement as a medical practice, mesmerism spread quickly throughout Europe and America, and became such a mania in pre-Revolutionary France that between 1779 and 1789 more literature was generated on mesmerism than on any other single topic. At first Mesmer used actual magnets to perform his cures but later dispensed with these on the ground that nearly all substances could be magnetized by touch. He employed either direct contact between physician and patient, or contact via the "baquet," a tub-like apparatus which could be charged with the universal fluid like a Leyden jar. Mesmer always insisted on the physical nature of his cures, which he initially ascribed to magnetic forces or electricity; later he devised the theory of a "universal fluid" acting on the nervous system, which was susceptible to this fluid on account of its inherent property of "animal magnetism." Mesmer's discovery of what would later be called hypnosis led to the large-scale investigation of psychological phenomena, and is thus an ancestor of psychopathology and psychotherapy. Crabtree 10. Garrison-Morton 4992.1. Printing and the Mind of Man 225. Norman M4.(2) First Edition. The present work is Eslon's major treatise on magnetism, describing his first encounter with animal magnetism and how he became convinced of its efficacy. It also gives the details of eighteen cases treated by Mesmer under Eslon's observation, one of the patients being Eslon himself. Eslon, a docteur régent of the Faculté de Médecine, was the first important Parisian convert to mesmerism. His outspoken support and practice of Mesmer's techniques caused dissention within the Faculté and so antagonized its conservative majority that he was eventually expelled. Eslon later broke with Mesmer and set up a rival mesmeric treatment center in Paris, where he practiced his own version of animal magnetism. When the royal commission to investigate mesmerism was formed, it was Eslon's practice and theory of animal magnetism that the commission examined, much to the displeasure of orthodox mesmerists. Crabtree 12. Norman M77 (citing 1781 ed.).
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