Rapport des commissaires chargés par le Roi, de l'examen du magnétisme animal.
(26,5 x 20,5 cm). (2) 66 S. Moderner Pappband im Stil der Zeit.
Paris, Imprimerie Royale, 1784.
Erste Ausgabe. "This is the offical edition, printed at the King's private press in the Louvre" (D/K). - "In the spring of 1784 the King of France appointed this commission made up of members of the Academy of Sciences to investigate the claims of animal magnetism. He chose some of the most eminent men of science of his day. The chairman was Benjamin Franklin, a founding father of the United States of America, ambassador of that country to France, and a person highly knowledgeable in electricity and terrestrial magnetism. The commission's president was Antoine Laurent Lavoisier, a follower of Condillac and one of the most important chemists of the age. The secretary of the commission and editor of its report was the famous astronomer Jean Sylvain Bailly. The commission also included the director of the Academy of Sciences, Jean Baptiste Leroy, an investigator of electricity of some note.... The commission began its investigations on March 12, 1784, and published its report in August of that year. Both this commission and one made up of members of the Faculty of Medicine of Paris, appointed by the King at the same time, investigated animal magnetism as practiced by Charles D'Eslon, a disciple of Mesmer. D'Eslon wanted this official inquiry, while Mesmer strongly opposed it. By cooperating with the commissions, D'Eslon effectively removed himself from his teacher's fold. Although D'Eslon's theory of animal magnetism, as presented to the commission, was somewhat different from that of Mesmer, the commissioners did not seem to be bothered by that fact. They contended that theory made no difference to their mandate, which was to decide about the existence and utility of animal magnetism. Their conclusion was that they found no evidence for the existence of an animal magnetic fluid. They ascribed any cures or improvement of health that might occur through the application of animal magnetism to the action of 'imagination.' The report was very influential and became a center of a vigorous controversy which raged for a number of years, with pamphlets and books being written for and against its conclusions" (Crabtree). - Erstes und letztes Blatt etwas angestaubt, sonst sehr sauberes und breitrandiges Exemplar. - Crabtree 31; Duveen & Klickstein 223