BRIGHT, Richard (1789-1858)
Reports of Medical Cases, Selected with a View of Illustrating the Symptoms and Cure of Diseases
London: Printed by Richard Taylor ... Published by Longman, Rees, Orme, Brown and Green, 1827-1831. Two volumes bound in three, large 4to. xvi, 222, , 223-231, pp., plus 16 hand-coloured engraved plates (numbered 1-15, plus 16 bis); xl, , 450, pp., plus 14 hand coloured engraved plates (numbered I-XVI, without plates IV or VIII, as issued); , -696, , 697-724pp, plus 24 engraved plates (numbered XVII-XL; 17 hand-coloured, 5 folding).
Expertly bound to style in period russet morocco, spine gilt with raised bands, green endpapers.
Bright's most important work, illustrated with color plates which are "among the most beautiful of medical illustrations" (Grolier/Medicine).
"Richard Bright graduated from the medical school at the University of Edinburgh in 1813. In 1820 he was appointed assistant physician at Guy's Hospital in London, where he began to devote himself to teaching and research, emphasizing the importance of the study of pathology in the understanding of disease. In 1827 he published the first volume of his Reports of Medical Cases, Selected with a View of Illustrating the Symptoms and Cure of Diseases ; this volume contains ninety case histories, of which twenty-three, studied during the years 1811-27, comprise the classic section on kidney disease. Bright was the first to establish the relationship between edema (dropsy), albuminuria (coagulable urine), and kidney pathology, and he was also the first to distinguish between cardiac and renal edema. He recognized three basic types of diseased kidney: (1) the large red kidney of acute glomerulonephritis; (2) the large white kidney associated with the nephrotic syndrome; and (3) the small contracted kidney of chronic glomerulonephritis and chronic renal failure. Ten years after the publication of Bright's observations, the French authority on renal diseases, Pierre François Olive Rayer, referred to the complex of kidney disorders that Bright described as maladie de Bright or Bright's disease. The second volume of Bright's Reports , published in two parts in 1831, is devoted entirely to neuropathology and contains three hundred detailed case histories describing such conditions as brain tumor, acute and chronic hydrocephalus, tuberculous meningitis, subarachnoid hemorrhage, epilepsy, Jacksonian epilepsy, and hysteria. The plates in Bright's Reports are among the most beautiful of medical illustrations. Bright himself was an artist, and he supervised the drawings done for him by Frederick Richard Say (whose portrait of Bright hangs in the Royal College of Physicians in London) and the engravings made from them by the artist's father, William Say, and others. According to publisher's records, 242 copies of Volume I and 171 copies of Volume II were printed, which explains why Volume I is more common than a complete set" (Grolier/Medicine).
Bright's descriptions of kidney disease found in Volume I cover the disorders now known as Bright's disease; the second volume, published in two parts, is devoted to neuropathology and describes diseases and abnormalities of the brain. The 54 plates in this work, of which 47 were meticulously hand-coloured, are among the most beautiful medical illustrations ever published.
Grolier Medicine 60a; Lilly, Notable Medical Books 183; Norman 341; Garrison-Morton 2285 & 4206; Heirs of Hippocrates 1451.