John Allen (John Alleyn) (1660?-1741)
Abrege de toute la medicine pratique Vol 3 and 4 (1737)
This is a French translation of 1719 Latin edition, Synopsis universæ Medicinæ practicicæ; sive doctissimorum virorum from Morbis eorumque Causis acremediis Judicia). The English title: Synoposis of Practical Medicine). Translated most likely from Latin to French by Benoit Boudon and Jean Deveux. The latter was a sworn surgeon and Chairman of the Society of Master Surgeonsin Paris, mentor to Pierre Fauchard and the main editor of Fauchard’s work Le Chirurgien Dentiste (1728). The first French edition was published in the same year, 1728. Our volumes are the second edition by Pierre Michel Huart. In it, instead of new medical ideas, Allen summarizes the knowledge of several ancient and early medieval authors and in some cases, he provides his opinion on certain conditions.
The two volumes in our collection represent only a portion of the six that makes up the full set but Volume 4 include diseases of the teeth an area of specific interest to us. The volumes also include description of diseases associated with the stomach and intestines with conditions ranging from constipation to dysentery (disentrya). It also includes cure for diseases of the eye, nose bleeding, loss of smell, and speech (language).
John Allen of Bridgewater was an 18th century English physician and author, member of the Royal Academy. He obtained his medical degree in 1692. He was an inventor and holder of several patents, including one for a new method of saving coal in the engine (form of atmospheric steam engine, probably the first form, long before James Watt). Allen’s work was translated into several languages. Between 1719-1762, it had seen 17 editions in four languages English, Latin, French, and German, including the current French edition. The book was quite popular at the time.
Editorial note: Andrew I Spielman