This book provides bibliographic information, ownership records, a detailed worldwide census and a description of the handwritten annotations for all the surviving copies of the 1543 and 1555 editions of Vesalius’
De humani corporis fabrica. It also offers a groundbreaking historical analysis of how the
Fabrica traveled across the globe, and how readers studied, annotated and critiqued its contents from 1543 to 2017.
of Andreas Vesalius sheds a fresh light on the book’s vibrant reception history and documents how physicians, artists, theologians and collectors filled its pages with copious annotations. It also offers a novel interpretation of how an early anatomical textbook became one of the most coveted rare books for collectors in the 21st century.
Dániel Margócsy, (PhD Harvard, 2009), is University Lecturer at the Department of the History and Philosophy of Science at the University of Cambridge. He is author of
Commercial Visions: Science, Trade, and Visual Culture in the Dutch Golden Age (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 2014).
Mark Somos (PhD Harvard, 2007; PhD Lugd. Bat., 2014) is Alexander von Humboldt Foundation Fellow at the Max Planck Institute for Comparative Public Law and International Law (Heidelberg), Senior Visiting Research Fellow at Sussex Law School, and Co-Editor-in-Chief of
Stephen N. Joffe, MBBCh (1967), MD (1976), was Professor of Surgery at University of Cincinnati. He has published multiple articles and textbooks on lasers in medicine and early anatomists.
"[...] this is a meticulously researched, engagingly written, and richly illustrated book that should appeal to historians of medicine as well as historians of the book."
- Kathleen Crowther (University of Oklahoma),
Bull. Hist. Med., 2020, 94:294-295
"[...] readers can see how the first great modern anatomical book becomes, across the centuries, a rare book for collectors, while maintaining valuable content for physicians and surgeons, historians of medicine and artists." - Jacqueline Vons, in:
"This book is a high-quality publication, plentifully supplied with colour plates, graphs and maps to illustrate the authors’ findings. It is a very readable text and will be an invaluable resource for any Vesalius scholar. It will also have a broader appeal however, for anyone interested in how early modern books travel through time and space, or how early modern readers interacted with their texts." - Richard W. Tait,
Centre for Medieval and Renaissance Studies, Monash University, Australia, in:
Endeavour, 10 December 2018
Acknowledgments List of Illustrations
Introduction 1.1 Historical Background
1.2 Research Methods for the Census
1.3 Historiographical Intervention
A Valuable Book 2.1 Historical Price Analysis
2.2 Showcasing Ownership: Bindings
2.3 Decoration and Function: Hand-Colored Copies
Provenance 3.1 The Physician’s Book: Ownership between 1550–1650
3.2 The Jesuit Century: Ownership between 1650–1750
3.3 The Years of Change: Ownership between 1750–1850
3.4 Vesalius in America: Ownership between 1850–1950
3.5 The Global Fabrica: Ownership since 1950
Reading and Annotating the Fabrica: The Sporadic Reader 4.1 The Typical Reader: A Case Study from Los Angeles
4.2 The Average Reader: A Frequency Analysis
4.3 Scribbling at the Front: Fashioning the Reader and the Author
4.4 Image and Text: Learning to See
4.5 Personal Experience and Bookish Learning
4.6 The Body in Parts: Generation and Control
4.7 Creating Order: Corrections, Errata, and Search Techniques
Censorship: Controlling Reading 5.1 Licensed Readers
5.2 Soul and Sex
Guide to the Catalogue
Copies Sold at Auctions Since 1990
Appendix Bibliography General Index Index of Owners Index of Places of Ownership
Readers interested in the history of medicine, science and the book, scientists, physicians, surgeons, artists, including librarians, auctioneers, rare book dealers and especially antiquarian and new book collectors.