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A. Pearce Gould. Elements of Surgical Diagnosis. Philadelphia: Henry C. Lea’s Son & Co., 1884. First American Edition, 1st Printing. Very scarce, very good plus first American edition of a classic medical work still in print in revised editions. Bookplate & previous owner’s 1884 inscription on first free endpaper. Red boards and red painted edges. 4 & 1/4 x 6 & 1/2 inches tall. 584 pp. incl. index. Very good plus. Original cloth.

“A work on surgical diagnosis is of the same use to the clinical student as
demonstrations of anatomy are to the anatomical. Systematic text-books are excellent in their way, but for the beginner they are too descriptive and not sufficiently directive. Mr. Gould has supplied a guide to diagnosis which is sure to be immensely popular with students, for in addition to the careful arrangement and skilful comparison of facts, the text
is written in good style—a by no means easy task where a large amount of information has
to be compressed into a comparatively small space. Some of the pages show traces of what
may be termed writing against time, notably those of the first chapter, which treats of the
general features and landmarks of surgical cases. There is in consequence a certain want of accuracy and consistency—e.g., at page 19 we read that the “difference between local lividity from obstruction and that from venous hyperaemia without obstruction, such as is seen in the final stages of inflammation. . . . . is ” etc. Such a statement is scarcely on all fours with our knowledge of the vascular changes in inflammation, for it is generally conceded that the type of “hyperaemia with obstruction” is reached “in the final stages of
inflamm tion.” Nor can we subscribe to the assertion that “all active hyperaemia is always
attended with pain,” seeing that the physiological phenomena of blushing, and flushing of
secreting glands during activity, are instances of painless fulness of the vessels.
Notwithstanding these defects, which in a great measure are inseparable from a first
edition, the book is one of conspicuous merit, and will be sure to meet with the support it
undeniably deserves. The text is divided into forty-four chapters. The first four treat of the
general diagnosis of wounds, of injuries other than wounds, and of the constitutional effects
of operations, etc. Chapters V. to XIV. are occupied with an account of injuries of the chief
regions of the body. Then comes a carefully detailed description of the more salient features
of pulsating, fluctuating and other swellings. Upwards of two hundred pages are devoted to
the elucidation of the problems pertaining to the surgery and pathology of the more
important situations, organs and structures. We do not hesitate to say that Mr. Gould’s
“Elements” is unique in its excellence. — The London Lancet, 1884


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