The greats of homeopathy

The Heritage Of Homoeopathic Literature.
The Heritage of Homoeopathic Literatureby Julian Winston
Great Auk Publishing
PO Box 51-156
Tawa, Wellington 6230
New Zealand
The late Julian’s website

Sometime before he died, I asked Julian, our great historian (along with Harris coulter), what was his favourite book. “The one I wrote,” he said without hesitation. It’s the second best book I’ve ever read. That was a reference to his book of homeopathic biographies The Faces of Homeopathy. This is a bibliography of homeopathic literature.

This sounds a crazy book and only someone crazy enough about books-even crazier than Francis Treuherz-could have compiled this! A book about books. Luckily in our profession we have one crazy enough and probably just the one, Julian Winston. This is an unusual book, it’s an abbreviated bibliography with the author’s commentary on all the books and publications ever published in the English speaking world and Germany, although it’s abbreviated so it’s not all the books which makes it sound even crazier and less relevant. Our own Homeopathic Times is absent, my favourite edition of the organon and the one that educated a couple of generations of Indian Homeopaths; “The Organon by Samuel Hahnemann With Commentary by B.K.Sarkar” is omitted and Beaconsfield have not found their rightful place in the list of Homeopathic publishers. There are some 2,000 omissions Julian tells me and no doubt not everything ever published could be listed here so he’s had to be selective and so he has deliberately called this bibliography “abbreviated”. What he does do is bring to our attention many of the good publications over the last two hundred years giving us a more thorough and global version of what nineteenth century Homeopathic historian, the great Thomas Lindsley Bradford, MD tried to do with American publications and if I can quote the excerpt from Bradford’s preface to his Homoeopathic Bibliography (1892) which Julian quotes at the beginning of his book I think it would put Julian’s book into context and give it greater meaning.

“With every year it is becoming more difficult to obtain reliable facts concerning the history of Homeopathy in America.

The stalwart and self-denying Fathers of our Faith have nearly all finished their labour of usefulness. It is in their books and pamphlets that the homoeopathic physicians of the future may read the history of their earlier struggles to proclaim the law of Hahnemann.

This volume is as complete a collection of data regarding the progress of Homoeopathy in America as it has been possible to make.

If any of the statistics are incorrect it is not from carelessness. The difficulty in obtaining reliable information regarding the earlier books, pamphlets, magazines and institutions has been very great. Many letters have been written, libraries have been ransacked, all the Homeopathic literature of the United States and some of the foreign has been carefully collated.

If this book be the means of teaching the junior members of the Homoeopathic profession in the United States what a debt they owe to the Fathers of American Homoeopathy, if it awakens a greater love for the scholarly books of the past, if it serves to bring us, as a School, nearer to the truth that the Homoeopathy of Hahnemann is the real and only Law of Healing, then its mission will have been accomplished.”

Some reasons Julian cites for this abridged listing are; first to remind veteran homeopaths and to show the newer ones the vastness of our literary heritage; second to avoid the false impression given by some references that, for example, Nash’s Leaders was written and published in 1984-the date of the Jain reprint; and thirdly, to inspire Homoeopaths and others to seek out these works and use them for the valuable information which is buried within.

The book is divided into fifteen sections from books on the Art of Homeopathy to therapeutics with a number of interesting and inspiring appendices. Of course, the most important book ever written was the organon which Julian is well able to introduce and comment on each edition and re-run and reprint in each language. He says hahnemann gave us everything we need to know in the Organon, from preparing the remedy, provings, dosage etc., the only things missing are the details and those are what our Homeopathic heritage are about. Julian Winston brings to light all the important deatails from the greats of Homeopathy over the last two hundred years so we need not practise in the dark. This book about Homeopathic books is a natural compliment to his previous book Faces Of Homoeopathy, a book about Homoeopaths.

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