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HOORN, Johan von (1662-1724) & PORTAL, Paul (1630-1703)

Den Swenska Wäl-öfwade Jord-gumman, hwilken grundeligen underwijser huru med en Hafwande handlas, en Wåndande hielpas, en Barna-Qwinna handteras, och det nyfödda Barnet skiötas skal. Mäst effter egen Förfarenhet, jemte wäl-öfwade Personers Skriffter, alla Läkare och Feldscherer; men särdeles Barnmoderskor och Huus-Mödrar til Gagn och Nytta, med tienliga Figurer författat.
Stockholm, Nathanael Goldenau, 1697.
+ Then Swenska Wälöfwade Jorde-Gummans Andra Deel. Bestående uti Ottatijo Märckwärdige Förlosningar, förrättade, och på Fransöska beskrefne, af PAUL PORTAL, Eedswuren Feldscher, och berömd Jord-Mästare i Paris. Men nu, för theras förträflighet, på Swenska öfwersatte, och med några tienliga Påminnelser, uthgifne af Johan von Hoorn.
Stockholm, H. C. Merckell, 1723.

The first and only edition of von Hoorn’s well-known Jorde-Gumma, one of the great classics within Swedish medical literature. It is the first Swedish handbook for midwives and also the first complete medical textbook to be published in Sweden. The much rarer second volume, published twenty-six years later and one year before von Hoorn’s death, is a Swedish version of Paul Portal’s La Pratique des Accouchemens (1685) translated by von Hoorn with his own commentaries. At the age of seventeen von Hoorn left Sweden to study medicine at Leiden, and he stayed abroad för eleven years. He also attended the anatomical lectures of the celebrated Frederic Ruysch in Amsterdam. Accompanied by Lars Roberg, his fellow student and later Linnaeus’ teacher at Uppsala, von Hoorn visited London and Oxford in 1689. He stayed in Paris for a year and a half studying surgery and obstetrics under the most prominent obstetricians of the period, Francois Mauriceau, Philippe Peu and Paul Portal, the latter whose book he also translated into Swedish. It was not possible for von Hoorn to get practical training as no foreigners were admitted to the special ward at the Hotel-Dieu, where hundreds of women gave birth to their children. However, von Hoorn made the acquaintance of Madame Allegrain, a midwife practising among the poor in Paris. From her he got instructions and training. He delivered some of her patients, using the ”backdoor” method of offering bribes to poor childbed women. After obtaining his M.D. at Leiden in 1690 von Hoorn returned to Stockholm. The often barbarous conditions, ignorance and superstition, under which women were delivered during this period, were alarming. The about eighty midwives in Stockholm at that time, including notorious tipplers, had no proper education and stood helpless when confronted with complicated deliveries. von Hoorn started to give private lessons for midwives and propagated effective control of their competence. In 1711 official Regulations for Midwives in Stockholm were announced. After two years of education and practice the future midwife had to pass an exam at the Collegium Medicum in order to get a license and membership of the guild of midwives. This gave them the right to advertise their profession by hanging up a signboard with a painting of a newborn child. The year before his death von Hoorn succeeded in having these Regulations accepted and made legally valid for the whole country.

Collation: Pp (16), 20, (4), 328, (20), with additional engraved title-leaf and 11 engraved plates (Fig. A-L). The two leaves of Privilegium, dated 6 September, 1697, not present in this copy. Andra Deel.: pp (32), 233, (7). Engraved portrait of the author (not in all copies).

Binding: Bound together in one volume, contemporary calf.

Provenance: Signature on engraved title: "Maria Ekström. 1802. Egare af denna".

References: Djurberg, Vilhelm: Läkaren Johan von Hoorn. Förlossningskonstens grundläggare i Sverige (Lychnos Bibliotek 4), 1942, pp 95-112. Waller 4882, Waller 7577.

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