Philadelphia: George Maclean, 1869. First edition. Original publisher's cloth binding with gilt to spine and front board. Brown coated endpapers. Professionally rebacked. Some spotting to spine and rubbing to boards. Light scattered foxing, largely concentrated in preliminaries. In all a pleasing copy, retaining the original 12 pages of testimonials and reviews to the front. OCLC reports only 16 copies held at institutions in the US.
Following his time in the Union Army during the Civil War, George Napheys attended and earned his medical degree from Jefferson Medical College, with the goal of improving people's lives and health. Of his three major works, The Physical Life of Woman was the first. Written in clear English, the book became a standard guide for women's health and hygiene, debunking superstitions and providing scientific facts. "Knowledge is safety," he opens the book, critiquing a social system in which women experienced dangerous and often preventable ailments simply because information was unavailable to them. "Filled with this thought, we write this book. It is the Revelation of Science to Woman." Tracing the changes that occur in female bodies from puberty through adulthood and maternity, Napheys also tackles issues resulting from social practice -- including the unhealthy starving or withholding of food from growing girls out of vanity. An influential and popular book educating women on their own health. Near Fine (Item #3154)