Philosophical Conversations: or, a new system of Physics, by way of dialogue… Translated into English and illustrated with notes by Thomas Dale, M.D.
London: Printed for W. Innys…C. Davis…and N. Prevost… .1731
3 volumes, 8vo, pp. (xiv), 402, 34 plates; (iv), 224, *217–*224, 225–414, 29 plates (on 28 sheets, the 2 folding plates at pp. 152 and 153 being on the same sheet); (iv), 342, 26 plates. Plate for vol. 3, p. 225, misbound in vol. 2, some plates in vol. 3 misbound. Titles printed in red and black. Contemporary speckled calf, spines ruled in gilt with paper labels (chipped), extremities rubbed, head of spine of vol. 1 and tail of vol. 3 worn, three joints just beginning to crack, internally a fine and clean copy.
FIRST EDITION IN ENGLISH of one of the most successful popularisations of science. The original edition, Entretiens physiques, appeared in 1729, running to an eighth edition in 1755 with many reissues in between. Curiously this was the only English edition and the only translation. It is profusely illustrated with 89 plates showing physical and astronomical principles and experiments. Regnault, a Jesuit, was a follower of Descartes, but although “not wholly unacquainted” with the writings of Newton, he excluded all conviction of him. Thomas Dale, the translator of this English edition, “subjoined the Principles of the Newtonian Philosophy by way of Notes…by which Means the Reader will have the Pleasure of comparing the Old Philosophy with the New, and of perceiving the Advantage of the latter” (the preface).