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FREUD, Sigmund (1856–1939)

Die Traumdeutung.
Leipzig und Wien, Franz Deuticke, 1900.

First edition of Freud’s greatest work, the influence of which has been felt far beyond the psychiatric and medical community. It is ranked with Charles Darwin’s Origin of Species and Karl Marx’s Das Kapital, as one of the three most revolutionary works of the nineteenth century. Bernard Cohen in his Revolution on Science (1985) also called the Freudian revolution “the last revolution in science to be made public in a printed book rather than a paper in a scientific journal”. This book remained for Freud his greatest achievement. The first edition is today a very rare book. Although dated 1900 in the imprint it was actually published already on 4 November 1899 (Freud having previously received two author’s copies and his inscription in the presentation copy to Wilhelm Fliess is dated 24 October 1899). The first edition consisted of only 600 copies which took eight years to sell: 123 copies were sold in the first six weeks after publication and 228 in the next two years. A second edition was published in 1909 and a third in 1911; eight German editions, many of them revised and enlarged, appeared during Freud’s lifetime. Translations include English (1913), Russian, Spanish, French, Swedish, Japanese, Hungarian, and Czech. Sigmund Freud began his medical career as a neurologist and made several important contributions in this field, including a method of gold chloride staining of nerve cells, researches on the pharmacological uses and effects of cocaine, studies of aphasia, and work on infantile cerebral palsy. His fame today, however, derives wholly from his discovery of psychoanalysis and his theory of the structure of the mind.

Collation: Pp (4), 371, (5).

Binding: Contemporary green grained half calf, marbled sides, endpapers with printed floral decoration. The green spine faded to yellow-brown. Gilt lettering on spine.

Provenance: Bror Gadelius (1862–1938), with his signature on free endpaper dated 1916. Gadelius was the foremost psychiatrist in Sweden in the early nineteenth century, professor of psychiatry at Karolinska Institutet, first physician of Konradsberg Hospital in Stockholm and the one who more than others discussed Freud’s writings in Sweden.

References: Grolier, One Hundred Books Famous in Medicine, 87; Horblit, One Hundred Books Famous in Science, 32; Garrison-Morton 4980: Heirs of Hippocrates 2176; Printing and the Mind of Man 389; Haskell Norman Collection, F 33.

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