BULWER, JOHN. 1606-1656.
Chirologia: or the Naturall Language of the Hand. Composed of the Speaking Motions, and Discoursing Gestures thereof, Whereunto is added Chironomia: Or, the Art of Manuall Rhetoricke. London: Thos. Harper, 1644.
8vo (171 x 100mm). A8 a6 B-N8 A-K8 L2. 2 additional engraved title-pages, 6 engraved plates (included in collation). 19th century calf, rebacked with original gilt spine laid down. A few instances of foxing, upper joint flaking, extremities rubbed.
Provenance: Bernardine Murphy (bookplate); presentation inscription from Sir Henry Ernest Gascoyne Bulwer to Charles Kent, friend of Charles Dickens.
FIRST EDITION. Although Bulwer only briefly mentions the deaf in his Chirologia, he was the first Englishman to propose educating the deaf and many of the handshapes in the book are still part of British Sign Language. The second work, Chironomia, is a manual of effective gesture for public speech.