“Markham’s Masterpiece”.

14549273445_aedd6a1048_b

A foldout found in the 1644 edition of Markham’s Maister-peece [Masterpiece], Containing all Knowledge Belonging to Smith, Farrier, or Horse=Leech, Touching on Curing All Diseases in Horses.
Michael J. North, Head of Rare Books and Early Manuscripts in NLM’s History of Medicine Division, takes a look at one of the most important books in the history of veterinary medicine – a seminal 17th-century work dedicated to the care of horses.
One of the most important and enduring books in the English language about the care of horses is by Gervase Markham (1586?-1637), an author of poetry and practical guides, including books on horsemanship and home economics.
His most famous work, however, was Markham’s Maister-peece [Masterpiece], Containing all Knowledge Belonging to Smith, Farrier, or Horse=Leech, Touching on Curing All Diseases in Horses, which was first printed in London in 1610 and came out in dozens of editions under a number of titles for over 200 years.
This edition of Markham’s Maister-peece printed in London in 1644 and held in NLM’s collection is divided into two parts focusing on “physical cures” and “surgical cures,” the former handling mainly internal physiology and pathology with herbal or dietary remedies, and the latter covering external illnesses which required hands-on treatments like bloodletting, purging, and bandaging.
Read on via Markham’s Masterpiece | The Public Domain Review.

Leo Tolstoy, Writer.

LeoTolstoy1Leo Tolstoy the renowned and celebrated Russian writer and philosopher was born on September 9th, 1828 in Yasnaya Polyana, the family estate in the Tula region of Russia.
bookcover-warandpeace__130218130207
Tolstoy’s epic masterpiece War and Peace is one of the most widely acclaimed novels in the world and considered as one of the most important works of literature.
It tells of the events surrounding France’s 1812 invasion of Russia and documents life in the Tsarist society of the Napoleonic years through the eyes of five Russian upper class families.
His other masterpiece Anna Karenina is a sensational romantic tragedy which follows the life of Anna Karenina when she has a life-changing affair with the dashing Count Alexei Vronsky set in the 19th century Russian high society.
His other notable works include: The Resurrection, Master and Man, Family Happiness, A confession along with a variety of short stories, plays and essays.
Tolstoy breathed his last on 20th November 1910 at age of 82 in Astapovo, Russian Empire.
via Zee News.

Death and Life in Shelley’s “Frankenstein”.

23218465551_a70d44f5f9_b
Frankenstein observing the first stirrings of his creature.
Engraving by W. Chevalier after Th. von Holst, 1831. Featured as frontispiece to the 1831 edition of Shelley’s novel.
Source: Wellcome Library.
Far from the fantastic and improbable tale that Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein now seems to us, the novel was declared by one reviewer upon publication to have “an air of reality attached to it, by being connected with the favourite projects and passions of the times”.
Among these were the scientific investigations into the states of life and death. Considerable uncertainty surrounded these categories. So much so that it was not far-fetched that Frankenstein should assert: “Life and death appeared to me ideal bounds” (ch. 4). He was not alone in considering that the boundary between life and death was imaginary and that it might be breached.
23274256776_ae45d8c0cb_b
A watercolour by Robert Smirke depicting a man being brought in by boat apparently drowned, his wife and family grieving on the shore.
A later engraving of this scene by Robert Pollard was dedicated to the Royal Humane Society in 1787 — Source: Wellcome Library.
Worried by the potential inability to distinguish between the states of life and death, two doctors, William Hawes and Thomas Cogan, set up the Royal Humane Society in London in 1774. I
t was initially called the “Society for the Recovery of Persons Apparently Drowned”; its aims were to publish information to help people resuscitate others, and it paid for attempts to save lives (the Society paid more money if the attempt was successful).
Many people could not swim at this time despite the fact that they worked and lived along London’s rivers and canals.
There was an annual procession of those “raised from the dead” by the Society’s methods, which may well have included people who had intended suicide too.
One such seems to have been Mary Shelley’s mother, the feminist, Mary Wollstonecraft, who after leaping from Putney Bridge into the Thames in the depth of depression complained “I have only to lament, that, when the bitterness of death was past, I was inhumanly brought back to life and misery”.
The pun on her “inhumane” treatment may well refer to the efforts of the Humane Society in rescuing her.2 The spectacular tales of apparent resurrections from the dead by the Society fed the public’s concern that it was impossible to be sure whether a person was truly dead and, consequently, fears of being buried alive grew.
Read on via The Science of Life and Death in Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein | The Public Domain Review

“Pulp Science Fiction.”

6a00d83542d51e69e20148c69845f1970c

What is it about science and the future and how the science fiction of the past (pre-1950s) almost never could encapsulate the superior scientific innovation and discovery of its near future?
And, like most science fiction at that time they considered that  our threats would come from outer space.
I guess that’s why I like a lot of sci-fi centered around man’s bastardry to man.
It is marvelous and wickedly magnificent to look at some cover art and illustration for the pulp and not-so-pulpy science ficton, images that not only have a certain look and feel, but also a smell, a particular bookstore/basement pulp-paper-not-exposed-in-forty-years smell.

6a00d83542d51e69e20147e08ee992970b-800wi

Image: Steampunk Eye–that enormous ship, governed by a long, long pole with a small box with an an eye in it, being raised and lowered on pulleys:
See more via Ptak Science Books: Fantastic Beasts and Tales.

“The Creation of Volapük, a universal Language”.

8091022760_f7395e732a_o
Johann Schleyer on a harp given to him as a 50th birthday present by his colleagues at Sionsharfe, a magazine devoted mainly to Catholic poetry, which Schleyer edited and in which he first published on Volapük in 1879 –
Johann Schleyer was a German priest whose irrational passion for umlauts may have been his undoing.
During one sleepless night in 1879, he felt a Divine presence telling him to create a universal language.
The result was Volapük. It was designed to be easy to learn, with a system of simple roots derived from European languages, and regular affixes which attached to the roots to make new words.
Volapük was the first invented language to gain widespread success.
By the end of the 1880s there were more than 200 Volapük societies and clubs around the world and 25 Volapük journals.
Over 1500 diplomas in Volapük had been awarded. In 1889, when the third international Volapük congress was held in Paris, the proceedings were entirely in Volapük.
Everyone had at least heard of it. President Grover Cleveland’s wife even named her dog Volapük.
Though Schleyer was German, a large part of the Volapük vocabulary was based on English.
“Volapük” was a compound formed from two roots, vol (from “world”) and pük (from “speak”).
However, it was often hard to spot the source of a Volapük word because of the way Schleyer had set up the sound system of the language.
“Paper” was pöp, “beer” bil, “proof” blöf and “love” löf. He had rational reasons for most of the phonological choices he made. For simplicity, he tried to limit all word roots to one syllable.
He avoided the ‘r’ sound, “for the sake of children and old people, also for some Asiatic nations.” The umlauts, however, were there for löf.
8096924075_4fdb024b12_o
The International Logo of the Organisation.
Read on further via Trüth, Beaüty, and Volapük | The Public Domain Review.

“Booze.”

74845971_booze

It was there in the first ever glossary of slang, the collection of criminal jargon published c.1532, and it’s still going strong.
Booze: Alcoholic drink, and as a verb, to drink.
It came from Dutch buizen, to drink to excess (and beyond that buise, a large drinking vessel) and the first examples were spelt bouse.
Over the centuries it spread its wings.

1921985d20beadd650de0bc42238ed71

We find the boozer (both pub and person), the booze artist, -gob, -head, -freak, -hound,-hoister, -rooster, -shunter and -stupe, all drunkards.
There are the pubs, saloons and bars – the booze barn, -bazaar, -casa, -crib, -joint, -mill, -parlour, -factory, -foundry and -emporium.
Across the mahogany (the bar counter) stands the booze clerk, -fencer or -pusher. If we hit the booze too heavily, we get a booze belly, and maybe a trip on the booze bus, Australia’s mobile breath-tester.
via BBC News – 10 slang phrases that perfectly sum up their era.