4to - over 9¾" - 12" tall. Dr. William Smith was one of the more controversial medical figures iof his era. A pioneer of medical care in prisons, he also was both doctor to and Chief Justice of the Cape Breton colony in what is now Nova Scotia, and spent some years in exile for debt (due to the House of Lords refusing to honor Parliament's bill to pay his fees). This work occasioned both controversy and umbrage in the medical community by attempting to provide medical knowledge to the masses, being the recipient of brutal and personal attacks in the pages of journals like the "Monthly Review", while being defended in the "Critical Review" for the work's "intrinsic merits". It was self-published, following the author's "A Dissertation Upon the Nerves", similarly issued in the prior year (1768). Bound in period brown tree calf, spine with red morocco label and gilt tooling, marbled endpapers (rebacked with original spine laid down). PROVENANCE: Neat ownship signature on title page of William Hincks, noted instructor in botany and natural history at a series of colleges from York to Cork to Toronto, also a Unitarian minister (1794-1871). Hincks is noted for his association with the young William Osler, who was wont to present Hincks with specimens (Bliss, William Osler: A Life in Medicine, p. 55). Notes: Remainder of title: to each of which is added, a great variety of useful and elegant formulae: the natural, chymical and pharmaceutic history of each simple and composition is given, with their medicinal virtues, manner of operation, and dose : to the whole is subjoined, an index of diseases and their remedies, with an alphabetical catalogue of all the simples and compositions, shewing the page, class, denomination, part used, and dose : the whole is collected from and compared with the best medical writers / by William Smith. Description: xxxix, , 581,  pages ; 27 cm.