Anatomia et Contemplatio

Leeuwenhoek, A. van
Lugduni Batavorum (Leiden): Boutesteyn

Full title

Anatomia et Contemplatio Nonnullorum Naturae invisibilium Secretorum Comprehensorum Epistolis Quibusdam Scriptis ad Illustre Inclytae Societatis Regiae Londinensis Collegium

Anatomy and Contemplation of invisible secrets of nature etc.

Dobell #21: Letters 43, 42, and 38, in that order (AB 82, 81, and 72)

Latin translations of three letters first published in Dutch, in the same year, in Onsigtbare Verborgentheden, also printed by Leiden bookseller Cornelis Boutesteyn.

The letters were unnumbered and the volume was continuously paginated, 3-78, with a blank unnumbered page between the letters, after pages 35 and 59. All the figures were placed within the text discussing them: eleven in Letter 43, six in Letter 42, and five in Letter 38.

Letter 43 of January 5, 1685 (AB 82) to the members of the Royal Society, pp. 3-35
Letter 42 of July 25, 1684 (AB 81) to the members of the Royal Society, pp. 37-59
Letter 38 of July 16, 1683 (AB 72) to Christopher Wren, pp. 61-78

As shows on the left sidebar, only Letter 43 is not preceded by a summary.

Over the following four decades, these letters were retypeset and reprinted several times, but only in 1685 with this typesetting under this title. It had running heads of Antonii de Leeuwenhoeck on the recto and Anatomia & Contemplatio on the verso. On the last page of the second letter, p. 59, it had a printer's mark that was not in any other version.

After 1685, these three letters were bundled with other letters under two titles:

  • Anatomia Seu interiora Rerum
  • Arcana Naturae Ope & beneficio exquisitissimorum Microscopiorum Detecta

If Dobell had not given this volume a separate number, it would make more sense to treat it as part of Anatomia Seu interiora Rerum.

For a detailed discussion of the publication history of these three letters, see "The adventures of Letters 38, 42, and 43" below under Learn more or on the right sidebar menu under Case studies.