An Interactive Annotated World Bibliography of Printed and Digital Works in the History of Medicine and the Life Sciences from Circa 2000 BCE to 2022 by Fielding H. Garrison (1870-1935), Leslie T. Morton (1907-2004), and Jeremy M. Norman (1945- ) Traditionally Known as “Garrison-Morton”

15793 entries, 13706 authors and 1920 subjects. Updated: October 6, 2022

PRICHARD, James Cowles

5 entries
  • 159

Researches into the physical history of man.

London: J. & A. Arch, 1813.

Prichard, a Bristol physician, classified and systematized facts relating to the races of men better than any previous writer. His interest in anthropology was stimulated by one of the pressing questions of his day: Did all the races of mankind have a common origin, as stated in the Scriptures, or did they spring from different ancestral stocks? Prichard, a confirmed monogenist, sought to demonstrate the common origin of the human races by compiling evidence from a variety of fields, including anatomy, physiology, comparative psychology, linguistics and cross-cultural studies. He theorized that the earliest races of mankind had been dark-skinned, and that the black races, far from representing a degeneration from white "perfection," were the origin from which the white races had sprung.

The second edition of his book, 1826, contains a remarkable anticipation of modern views on evolution, views which were suppressed in later editions. Facsimile edited with an introductory essay [and bibliography] by G. W. Stocking, Jr., Chicago, University Press, 1973. The one-volume first edition was unillustrated. By the 3rd edition the work was expanded to 5 vols. (1836-47) and contained many color plates. In that form it synthesized all then known information about the various races of mankind, forming a basis for modern ethnological research.

Prichard issued a popularization of his work, with numerous color plates, as The natural history of man (1843). The fourth edition of that was edited and enlarged, and published in 2 vols. by Edwin Norris (1855). 



Subjects: ANTHROPOLOGY, EVOLUTION
  • 4809

A treatise on diseases of the nervous system.

London: T. & G. Underwood, 1822.

Includes the best early account of epilepsy after Willis.



Subjects: NEUROLOGY, NEUROLOGY › Epilepsy
  • 4928

A treatise on insanity and other disorders affecting the mind.

London: Sherwood, Gilbert & Piper, 1835.

Prichard, better known for his work in the field of anthropology (No. 159), was the first to describe moral insanity. He described a syndrome he called incoherence or senile dementia. Alzheimer (No. 4956) may have described essentially the same disorder. Reprint of Philadelphia, 1837 edition, New York, Arno Press, 1973.



Subjects: NEUROLOGY › Degenerative Disorders › Presenile or Senile Dementia, PSYCHIATRY
  • 13121

On the different forms of insanity in relation to jurisprudence, designed for the use of persons concerned in legal questions regarding unsoundness of mind.

London: Hippolyte Baillière, 1842.

In this book Prichard presented his arguments for introducing the concept of diminished responsibility and irresistable impulse into the legal precedents. Hunter & McAlpine, 836-42. 

Digital facsimile from the Wellcome Collection at this link.



Subjects: PSYCHIATRY › Forensic Psychiatry
  • 7696

Six ethnographic maps illustrative of "The natural history of man".

London: J.-B. Baillière, 1843.

An atlas of six large hand-colored folding maps originally issued to accompany Prichard's popular work, The natural history of man, first issued in 1843. The maps were revised and re-issued in 1851 and 1861.



Subjects: ANTHROPOLOGY, Cartography, Medical & Biological