Gesner, Konrad


The Newe Jewell of Health: Wherein is Contayned the Most Excellent Secretes of Phisicke and Philosophie, Devided into Fower Bookes.

Gathered out of the best and most approued authors, by that excellent Doctor Gesnerus. Faithfully corrected and published in Englishe, by George Baker, chirurgian. London: Henrie Denham, 1576. First English translation of the second part of Thesaurus Euonymi Philiatri de remediis secretis, published in 1569 under title: Euonymus Conradi Gesneri. . .de remediis secretis liber secundus. References: STC 11798; Hunt 124. Ms. marginal notes throughout.

This English translation of Gesner's Latin work on distillation, the plants to be distilled, and their cures, is a well known work published originally in 1554. Konrad Gesner used scientific methods in his study and was probably the first to discover many new species which are now credited to Clusius, Bauhin, and others. Gesner, born in Zurich, Switzerland, was a renowned man of learning who wrote about medicine, mineralogy, and zoology as well as botany. He is remembered as one of the greatest of the 16th century naturalists as well as the bibliographer of the famous Bibliotheca Universalis. The New Jewell of Health focuses primarily on the distillation process, and its lengthy subtitle give further insight into its contents "wherein is contayned ... the best approved remedies for the diseases as well inwarde and outward, of all the partes of mans bodie: treating very amplye of all Dystillations of Waters, of Oyles, Balmes, Quintessences, with the extraction of artificiall Saltes, the use and preparation of Antimonie, and potable Gold."

Subjects: Medicinal plants; Pharmacy; Distillation.


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