Health’s Improvement, or, Rules comprizing and discovering the nature, method and manner of preparing all sorts of foods used in this nation […] corrected and enlarged by Christopher Bennet ... to which is now prefix'd A Short view of the Author's Life and Writings, by Mr. Oldys. And an introduction, by R. James, M.D.

London: Printed for T. Osborne, in Gray's Inn, 1746.

Duodecimo (19 x 15 cm.), xxxii, 398 pages; signatures: a12 b4 A1-Q12 R8. Head- and tail-pieces; initials. Complete with the “imprimatur” leaf. Imprimatur from the Royal College of Surgeons on verso of title-leaf. ~ The Second and Final Edition (a reprint of the first edition was issued in 1846). A classic work on diet and nutrition, discussing the quality, use, and preparation of fish, fruit, dairy products, bread, and all kinds of meat. Health’s Improvement was written in the last decade of the 16th century but remained as manuscript notes until publication in 1655 “by T. Newcomb for S. Thomson”. “…Mouffet, a successful Elizabethan physician with paracelsian leanings, left a number of unfinished manuscripts at his death in 1604, among them one entitled Health’s Improvement… which was edited in 1655 by his younger colleague Christopher Bennet” (Robb-Smith, “Doctors at Table” cited in Maclean). Bennet died in 1655, and it is unclear if he lived to see this work’s issue, though he clearly thought highly of Moffett’s work, as he states in his preface, “I may safely say, upon this subject I know of none that hath done better; and were Platina, Apicius, and Alexandrinus, with all the rest of the Dietetick writers now alive, they would certainly own, and highly value this Discourse” (page [2]). Moffet, whose name is variously spelled (see Maclean), is famous for two books – this one, and his book on insects, Insectorum Sive Minimorum Animalium (London, 1634). He is also known as the father of “Little Miss Muffet” of nursery rhyme fame. ~ Some offsetting to edges of first few leaves; good margins throughout. Rebound by Sangorski & Sutcliffe, with gilt-framed original boards; gilt-titled, red morocco spine label. Binder’s tiny ink stamp to rear pastedown; tiny bookseller’s blindstamp, “Brentano’s New York” to foot of free front endpaper; early ownership signature to free front endpaper, “Sarah Malmesley”. [ESTC T131301: thirty-two copies; Bitting, page 327; Cagle 880; Maclean, page 104; Pennell, page 134; Oxford, page 27; Simon BG 1064].

Price: $1,500.00