Bracken, Henry: Farriery Improv’d: or, a Compleat Treatise upon the Art of Farriery
Stock No. 1119BS
Second edition, two volumes, London, volume I for J. Clarke ande J. Shuckburgh, 1739, volume II for J. Hodges, 1740. 8º (163 x 96 mm.), pp. viii, [ii - contents leaf], 363, [35 - index]; xvi, 298, [19 - index, 3 - Hodges' catalogue]. Volume II bound in contemporary full calf, raised bands between gilt rules, numbered only in third compartment, double gilt fillet borders to sides, speckled edges. Volume I bound in modern full calf to match, new plain endpapers. Volume I retains the original stitching and ropes, but since it was originally sewn upside-down, i.e. with the largest compartment at the head instead of the foot, the textblock is upside-down in the binding. There are a few very minor marginal stains towards the beginning of volume I, otherwise both volumes are internally clean and unfoxed. The contemporary binding is in very good condition, quite sound and complete except for two small areas of missing leather on the lower board. First published in 1738, the early editions of this popular work are scarce, and the two volumes of the second edition rarely found together.
Henry Bracken, M.D. (1697-1764), was a Lancaster doctor and surgeon who studied under Herman Boerhaave. He was Mayor of Lancaster in 1747/8 and 1757/8. He adopted a simple approach to medicine, and his love of horses and horseracing led him to publish a number of works on the care of the horse, of which the present one was the most popular and successful. He was praised by John Lawrence in his A Philosophical and Practical Treatise on Horses, and on the Moral Duties of Man towards the Brute Creation (1796) as the foremost writer on veterinary medicine.