Epistle of Petrus Peregrinus on the Magnet. Reproduced from a Ms. Written by an English Hand About A.D. 1390.
Petrus Peregrinus [ e Maricourt].

London: Bernard Quaritch, 1900. One of 50 copies. A very good copy. Rebound in clothbacked boards with printed paper label on front cover. Original front wrapper bound in. Quarto. [4, including title-page (Item ID: 16478)


Peter Peregrinus of Maricourt (fl. 1269), was a thirteenth-century French scholar who conducted experiments on magnetism and wrote the first extant treatise describing the properties of magnets. His treatise contained the first detailed discussion of freely pivoting compass needles, a fundamental component of the dry compass soon to appear in medieval navigation. It directly influenced William Gilbert (1544-1603) in his work, De Magnete (1600),"the first major English scientific treatise based on experimental methods of research" (Printing and the Mind of Man, 107). Gilbert's book in turn influenced Kepler, Bacon, Boyle, Newton and Galileo.

OCLC notes fifteen copies in libraries, twelve in North America. This hardly ever seen in commerce.

Site by Bibliopolis