[Armstrong, John]: The Art of Preserving Health
Stock No. 1180BS
The Art of Preserving Health: A Poem: London, A. Millar, 1744: "[Price Four Shillings sewed.]" below date. The first edition, 4º (253 x 186 mm.), speckled edges, bound in a modern quarter calf binding, raised bands, unlettered spine, marbled boards. The main interest of this copy is the carefully-written name "Henry Thrale" on the title-page. This is clearly not Henry Thrale's signature, but appears to be the handwriting of Hester Thrale, showing the slant, flourishes, and straight separate bar across the "H" that she was using during the time she was married to Henry, i.e. between 1763 and 1781. Certain passages have also been marked apparently by a different and more careless hand. Mrs Thrale's concern, (which may have been as much commercial as it was affectionate), for her husband's health, and in particular for his neglect of it, is well-documented. The ill-health he suffered in his final years was largely the result of his gluttony and his refusal to heed his physicians' advice to moderate his consumption. So this volume might have been a particularly suitable gift, and some of the highlighted passages appear appropriate to Thrale's condition. Dr Armstrong had a medical practice in London and was part of the Boswell/Johnson circle.