Item #2835 Fumifugium: or, The inconveniencie of the aer and smoak of London dissipated together with some remedies humbly proposed by J.E. esq. to His Sacred Majestie, and to the Parliament now assembled. JOHN EVELYN.
Fumifugium: or, The inconveniencie of the aer and smoak of London dissipated together with some remedies humbly proposed by J.E. esq. to His Sacred Majestie, and to the Parliament now assembled
Fumifugium: or, The inconveniencie of the aer and smoak of London dissipated together with some remedies humbly proposed by J.E. esq. to His Sacred Majestie, and to the Parliament now assembled
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Fumifugium: or, The inconveniencie of the aer and smoak of London dissipated together with some remedies humbly proposed by J.E. esq. to His Sacred Majestie, and to the Parliament now assembled

“…the City of London resembles the face rather of Mount Aetna, the Court of Vulcan, Stromboli, or the Suburbs of Hell…For when in all other places the Aer is most Serene and Pure, it is here Ecclipsed with such a Cloud of Sulphure, as the Sun itself, which gives day to all the World besides, is hardly able to penetrate and impart it here; and the weary Traveller, at many Miles distance, sooner smells, than sees the City to which he repairs.”

1661 FIRST EDITION OF THE WHAT IS GENERALLY CONSIDERED THE WORLD’S FIRST BOOK ON AIR POLLUTION; A PROPHETIC LANDMARK WORK OF SCIENCE, ENVIRONMENTAL HISTORY, AND URBAN PLANNING.

Widely recognized by scholars as one of the earliest and most important books in the history of environmentalism, Fumifugium lays out in excruciating detail the terrible effects of London’s factories on air quality, along with the consequences for human health and the environment. It has been described as “the most extensive, sophisticated, and ambitious analysis of urban air pollution produced anywhere during the early modern period.” The author, John Evelyn, was an avid gardener and a founding member of the Royal Society of London, the world’s oldest scientific academy. His solutions to the problem involved relocating factories and planting trees to create urban green spaces, a strategy that remains influential today.

Written 300 years before Rachel Carson’s environmental classic Silent Spring, Evelyn’s work is a chilling reminder that the problems facing humanity today have been long known to us. He describes environmental threats and health consequences that are all too familiar: coal burning chimneys that belch smoke “from their sooty jaws,” city inhabitants who “are never free from Coughs.” A frightening book, but also an optimistic one, as the third part of Fumifugium describes a brighter future for London, free from factories and filled with parks and trees, “rendred one of the most pleasant and agreeable places in the world.”

First issue: with "Published by His Majesties Command' on title".

London: Printed by W. Godbid for Gabriel Bedel, and Thomas Collins, 1661. Small quarto (150x193mm), late nineteenth century three-quarter calf over marbled boards. [xii; 1-26]. Bookplate ("Henry Davies") on front pastedown. Very faint dampstaining to margins of first and last few leaves; soiling to title; small wormholes on a1,a2 ("To the Reader"); occasionally closely cropped.

A MILESTONE OF SCIENCE THAT IS KEENLY RELEVANT TODAY.

Price: $8,500 .

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