Observation and Analyzation: An Inquiry into the Causes and Effects of the Variolæ vaccinæ a Disease

by snake101 on Mars 30, 2016 - 3:38pm


The rare book that was analysed in the osler library called An inquiry into the cause and effects of the variolae vaccinae a disease 2nd edition written by Edward Jenner in the 1800 meaning that the book is more than two centuries old. The book would have served for medical purposes with some illustrations also the book is divided into three sections with case studies and observations which can be seen as one flips the pages. It resembled to many modern day medical books that are used presently. The book had a brown leather hard cover that could let one see the use because the cover looks very used as does the book a medical man or someone who wanted to expand their knowledge would have read a book of this type.  You can feel when you hold the book the age and knowledge it contain the smell gives it the old feel as it smells like an old musty book but yet it is in very good condition for its age. Through analysis one can assume that by the book size that the owners would have been wealthy people such as scholars, merchants or the nobility with means to buy the work by Jenner and would have an interest in medical knowledge. The text has no notes in the margin.




Through an analysis of the book one can see that even the way a book was made them is very different from how a book is made today but yet there also many similarities that can be made. The text is printed on to the paper that is folded in this case 4 times and then it is sent to another person which then sews the pages together. After the pages are binded together the person puts a cover to finalize the book. To make it easier on the person that puts the book together they print at the bottom of the page the first word that will show up on the next page so that way there would be no confusion. The book seems to have been printed in a roman font and at the time they use long s will printing in the words which is different than today but was the norm at the time. But the book looks very similar to a modern day book. The images that can be seen throughout the book seem to be printed and not illustrated by hand. There are spaces in the image where there is no ink. It seems like a stamp that was imprinted on the page but one can see that they could use coloured ink as can be seen in the image and there still can be seen detail throughout the illustration. Also in the book one can see that there are post scripts that have been added in some pages to include more information and to sometimes can contradict what the person had initially said causing for authors to not only publish one edition of the text but others to follow when they edit things from the initial book. The book was very bulky and heavy which means that it would have been difficult move but possible if one wanted to show it to friends, family or people of the community. This medical book would have been essential at the time making for the spread of the book to people that wanted to treat and prevent the disease from affect the town's population. The town’s people would have wanted to preserve this knowledge to be able to develop a healthier environment for them to live in.


Work Cited

Jenner, Edward. An Inquiry into the Causes and Effects of the Variolæ vaccinæ a Disease Discovered in Some of the Western Counties of England, Particularly Gloucestershire, and Known by the Name of the Cow Pox. 2nd ed. London: Printed for the Author, by S. Low, and Sold by Law, 1800. Print.


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