Paris : Adrien Delahaye, 1867.
Description : [i]-vii p., 1-277 p., [3 l.] pl., [1 l.] index ; ill.: 3 phot. ; 18.5 cm.
Photographs : 3 leaves of mounted albumens.
Photographers : Hippolyte Hartmann, Sr. (attributed) ; et al.
Subject : Adipose tissue — Physiology ; obesity.
Dancel received his medical training in the military, where he was tasked with the problem of obesity in the cavalry, both in the soldiers and in their horses. After military service, he used this experience to became a popular writer and lecturer on diet and hygiene. A London physician, William Harvey (1807–1876), attended his lectures as well as those of Claude Bernard, and adapted the Dancel diet to treat a morbidly obese London undertaker, William Banting (1796–1878), who then publicized the remarkable success of Harvey's regimen in a historical pamphlet titled, "Letter on corpulence; address to the public."
There are three albumen photographs, all illustrating a chapter titled, "Faits de diminution du trop grand embonpoint avec photographies." Two of the photos are images, before and after treatment, of a Brazilian doctor who then explicated Dancel's theories in Portuguese for the South American medical community. The third photograph – a morbidly obese subject seated next to his wife – is attributed, here, to Hippolyte Hartmann, Sr., who was the established photographer of Martinique where the patient resided.