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BUCKNILL, John Charles (1817-1897) & TUKE, Daniel Hack (1827-1895)

A Manual of Psychological Medicine. Containing the Lunacy Laws, the Nosology, Ætiology, Statistics, Description, Diagnosis, Pathology, and Treatment of Insanity. With an Appendix of Cases. Fourth Edition.
London, J. & A. Churchill, 1879.

Fourth revised and final edition of the most influential psychiatric text-book in English of the mid-nineteenth century. The first edition was published in 1858 and an American edition appeared in the same year (Philadelphia, Blanchard & Lea). This 1879 edition has the same frontispiece as the first edition, with seven portraits lithographed from photographs, which must have been taken before 1858 in the Devon County Lunatic Asylum: they depict (clockwise from top): Acute Mania; Acute Suicidal Melancholia; Secondary Dementia; Congenital Imbecility; Primary Dementia; General Paralysis; and (centre) Monomania of Pride. ”Bucknill and Tuke see the physiognomy of the insane, typified by the subjects in their frontispiece, as consisting of three distinct aspects. The first, the intellectual sphere, is indicated by ”a certain fixedness of the features” . . . In the second, they divide ”the emotional expression of the physiognomy” into ”expansive” and ”contracted” states. Finally, ”the expressional impress of strong animal propensities often profoundly degrade and brutalize the human face.”. . . . Thus the appearance of the insane, down to the ”Darkness” inherent in melancholy, is taken as clinical verification of diagnosis. The photographs in the Bucknill and Tuke frontispiece were printed lithographically. It was not until 1876 that the first textbook appeared which made extensive use of the newer photogravure process to reproduce photographs directly.” (Gilman, Seeing the Insane).

Collation: Pp xx, 815, (1) + 16 pages of publisher’s catalogue. With 12 plates numbered I-XII: lithographed frontispiece and three plates (portraits after photography), five plates with facsimiles of handwriting and four chromolithographed plates (histological).

Binding: Publisher’s black embossed cloth, untrimmed edges, partly unopened.

Provenance: Erik Nordenson (1847–1919), his great library was donated to Karolinska Institute, where he was lecturer of ophthalmology.

References: Gilman, Seeing the Insane. pp 176-177, with reproduction. Waller 1609 (first edition, 1858).

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