Item #19453 Dr. Elizabeth Blackwell’s Owned and Signed Books on Zoology and The Evolution of Sex. Elizabeth Blackwell.
Dr. Elizabeth Blackwell’s Owned and Signed Books on Zoology and The Evolution of Sex
Dr. Elizabeth Blackwell’s Owned and Signed Books on Zoology and The Evolution of Sex

Dr. Elizabeth Blackwell’s Owned and Signed Books on Zoology and The Evolution of Sex

Blackwell, Elizabeth


BLACKWELL, Elizabeth. America's first female Medical Doctor. Collection of three books, each one owned and signed by Elizabeth Blackwell. Signed "Blackwell" in each volume on the first page. [1-2] The first two books are volume I & II of William Carpenter’s Zoology; Being A Systematic Account of the General Structure, Habits, Instincts, and Uses of the Principal Families of the Animal Kingdom… 2 volumes. London: Henry G. Bohn, 1857 (vol. I)-1858 (vol. II). 586 and 588 pages, respectively. Pencil note by Elizabeth Blackwell, "circular mouth" (translation of the Greek “cyclostomi”), on p. iii of the Contents in Vol. II. [3] The third book is Geddes and Thomson’s The Evolution of Sex. New York:  Scribner & Welford, 1890. Edited by Havelock Ellis. 322 pages.

In January 1849, Elizabeth Blackwell received her M.D. degree from Geneva Medical College in Geneva, New York, ranking first in her class. Shortly after receiving her degree, while abroad, Blackwell met physiologist, neurologist, and naturalist William Benjamin Carpenter. Carpenter was a mentor to Blackwell, who brought her into the scientific community at a time when she was shunned by many for having the nerve to be a woman who endeavored to practice medicine. In a letter written to her family in the United States, Blackwell recalls: "Monday, May 1849. This morning I called on Dr. Carpenter, who has written those admirable works on physiology… I received several notes of introduction from Dr. C. [Carpenter] He says I must hear Mr. Paget lecture; that he is the most promising surgeon in England. I found an invitation to a pharmaceutical soiree awaiting me on my return, with the information that I might see all the distinguished M.D.'s there assembled. His microscopes, said to be the most beautiful in England, were there. His preparations were exquisite: the lung of a frog most minutely injected, a piece of shark skin which seems covered with innumerable teeth, and piles of other specimens..." (Elizabeth Blackwell, Pioneer Work in Opening the Medical Profession to Women. Autobiographical Sketches, p. 105).

Blackwell acquired this copy of Geddes and Thomson's The Evolution of Sex, aiding her continuous studies within the realm of reproductive health and sexual physiology. In 1852, she taught classes in a church basement on sexual physiology and reproduction for young women. These books reveal her true passion for acquiring scientific and medical knowledge to provide quality care for her patients. Blackwell's encounter with Carpenter and introduction to Sir James Paget put her in the company of two of the most boundary-pushing scientists in London, then the nexus of scientific innovation. Both Carpenter and Paget were supporters of Darwin, and Blackwell came to know pioneering nurse Florence Nightingale, who concurred on the use of hygienic practices in medicine. Blackwell had a special interest in the study of reproduction and sex--in 1880 she wrote a paper titled The Human Element in Sex, addressed to the students of medicine. Since these books were used extensively by Elizabeth Blackwell, most volumes show sign of wear, only good condition with original cloth bindings, covers, spine, and joints rubbed and worn, one volume has a cracked hinge. Blackwell later provided medical care to indigent women and children, advocated for women's health, and founded a women's medical school and training hospital. Blackwell's letters or signatures are extremely uncommon, with only 3 coming to market in the last 40 years. No signed books aside from this collection have come to market. Extremely rare.

Item #19453

Price: $15,000.00