Opera omnia

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1. Willis, Thomas, 1621-1675.

Opera omnia (Geneva : Samuel de Tournes, 1676)

Willis was remarkable for his careful clinical observation, and was second only to Sydenham in his day. This book, volume 1 of his collected works, was written in Latin and bought in Florence in 1976. The transaction had to be conducted, rather unsatisfactorily, in French, and on returning to the camp site I realised that Vol. 2 was missing. When the bookshop eventually opened at 5 p.m. on Tuesday, delaying our departure, the proprietor was unable to find the missing volume, so – most unusually – refunded half the cost. The book is open at the famous plate of the inferior surface of the brain, showing the arterial “Circle of Willis” (Cerebri Anatome, Plate 1). This plate, and many of the others, was engraved by Christopher Wren. [GM 62].