UN PRÉCURSEUR LYONNAIS DES THÉORIES MICROBIENNES J.-B. Goiffon et la nature animé de la peste. Lu à l’Académie des Sciences, Belles-Lettres et Arts de Lyon, séance du 8 décembre 1885. Bale - Lyon - Genève, Librairie Général Henri Georg.
1886. 8vo, pp. , 152; with frontispiece and one further leaf of illustrations; title-page in red and black; a little browned throughout due to paper quality, with some occasional light foxing and soiling; An interesting essay on the work of the 18th century Lyonnaise physician Jean-Baptiste Goiffon (1658-1730), and in particular his theories on the nature of contagion and plague, expressed in his work of 1722, ‘Relation et dissertation sur la peste du Gevaudan’, one of a number of works written in the wake of the devastating plague of Marseilles in 1720. Goiffon believed that the contagion was spread by small worms or insects invisible to microscopes of the day. Mollière, ‘Président de la Société des Sciences mèdicales de Lyon’ first presented his essay before a meeting of the ‘Académie des sciences, belles-lettres et arts’ on December 8th, 1885, and provides a historical discussion of the plague, citing a number of works, and including a depiction of a ‘plague-doctor’, wearing his beak-like mask. This image is taken from the work of another famous Lyonnaise physician, that of Jean Grillot’s 1629 vivid eyewitness account of the plague, ‘Lyon affligé de contagion’. The costume consisted of a leather cloak, a mask with eye slots made of crystal, and a long nose piece filled with perfume.
Goiffon studied at the University of Montpellier, and spent many years as a military physician. He became an Associate of the College of Physician of Lyon in 1693.
Condition: uncut and partially unopened in the original printed wrappers, title in red and black on upper cover, head and tail of spine a little bumped, covers quite soiled, extremities a little bumped; signed by the author.