Pregnancy without Intercourse: rare Dutch edition of Lucina Sine Concubitu, 1785
Abraham Johnson [pseudonym of John Hill]. Memorie aan het koninglyk genoodschap der wetenschappen te London. Waarin [...] bewezen word, dat eene vrouw of vryster zonder toedoen eens mans, zwanger worden [...] kan.
Holland, (printed covers: Alkmaar, sold by Maagh, Arnhem, sold by Moeleman, Amsterdam, sold by Borchers [... etc.]), 1785. 8vo (16,5 x 11 cm). XVI, 96 pp.
In the original folded gatherings (uncut and untrimmed), with the original printed wrappers. The prelims lack gathering 2* (four leaves). In good condition. Some soiling, a few spots, gathering E and F slightly stained; the wrappers frayed and damaged.
Rare Dutch edition of Hill's Lucina sine cucubita. A lovely copy, still in the unbound gatherings just like it left the printer's shop in 1785, with the printed wrappers.
John Hill (1714-1775) was an accomplished botanist, who authored the monumental 26-volume The Vegetable System. But he's best remembered for his satirical work Lucina sine concubita. A letter humbly address'd to the Royal Society (1750). In it he argued that due to "floating animalcula" women could become pregnant without having sexual intercourse. He allegedly wrote it to ridicule the Royal Society, which had refused him membership. "Lucina was an abusive joke wrapped in a shilling book", as Hill's biographer puts it (p. 67).
The STCN lists four different Dutch editions published in 1778, 1779 and 1785, all translated after the German translation of the fourth corrected enlarged English impression, with the preface and annotations translated from the French.
STCN (1 copy); Rousseau, The Notorious Sir John Hill (2012), passim.