Friday, 10 June 2016

Wombs with a view

ISBN 978-3-319-23567-7
"Illustrations of the Gravid Uterus from the Renaissance through the Nineteenth Century," compiled by Lawrence D. Longo and Lawrence P. Reynolds.

This book contains several iconic images and many that are less well known. Each with a text about the author, artist and engraver as well as an analysis of the influence of the book on contemporary science and midwifery.

Great pains have been taken with reproduction of the images. No doubt many were taken from rare books in Larry Longo's own library. It is a pity he did not live to see the result in print (previous post).

Afterbirth of the sheep with four neat rows of cotyledons
From Girolamo Fabrizio De Formato Foetu 1604
There are plenty of images of the placenta including a few from animals. Anatomists who had dissected the gravid uteri of ruminants and dogs sometimes represented human placenta as cotyledonary or zonary in shape.

I am enjoying this book. It is a pity that the publisher (Springer Nature) did not employ a copy editor. There are many more typos than might be expected in a work of such high quality.