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Bohun, Ralph.

A Discourse Concerning the Origine and Properties of Wind. With a Historicall Account of Hurricanes, and Other Tempestuous Winds. Oxford: Printed by W. Hall for Tho. Bowman, 1671. 302 pp. This volume is bound in brown leather and the boards are stamped with a ruled border and corner ornaments. The endpapers are made from binder's waste.

In his preface, Bohun credits recent voyages to the West Indies as an integral part of his research on hurricanes. He gleaned much of his data from sea captains and other voyagers. Bohun notes references to meteorological phenomena in the West Indies, Virginia and Florida, as well as other corners of the globe. In his preface, Bohun explains the motivations for his work:

Considering the unsuccessfull Attempts of severall Authors who have adventur'd upon this difficult part of Meteorology, I was sufficiently discourag'd from exposing to publick view those Collections, which I had sometime made concerning the Causes and Properties of Winds. But afterward, by reason of my residence in a place principally concern'd in Naval Affairs (where I had frequent opportunities of conversing with the most experienc'd of our Sea Captains) I began to compare the observations of their Voyages, with the writings of the most celebrated of the Ancient, and Modern Philosophers which I judg'd the only expedient to arrive at a more perfect History of Winds.

Bohun also credits various philosophers and scientists whose writings he builds upon and he offers this work as a "fuller Account both of the Regular, and Tempestuous Winds, the Land and Sea Breezes, and other particulars which most writers had past by in silence." He apologizes for any errors in his work and concludes that since there is "no exact Demonstration to be expected in Physiologicall Sciences, I might Challenge the freedome of my own thoughts, reserving for others the same Libertie, to abound in their own sense, and to interpret Nature as they please." G.J. Symons in U.S. Weather Bulletin Number 11 (1894-1985) describes this volume as, "Noteworthy as among, if not absolutely, the first in which the theories of the winds, as propounded by Aristotle and partly adopted by Bacon, are compared with details of the trade winds, monsoons, typhoons, and winds from other parts of the world. . . "

This presentation copy is inscribed on the half title, "Bon Dimi mon bien, R. [?] Bohuni, Donum Authoris - Doctissi Cansanguinei."The volume is bound in brown leather and rebacked. As pictured above, two handsome engravings of winds and hurricanes appear in this early scientific work. Bohun offers the following explanations as a key to the letters within the figure:

Suppose D.H. in the following Figure, to be the Incumbent Vapors, or Clouds.
F the superficies of the Earth, Sea, or another subjacent Cloud.
G the motion, of streame of Air, expeld from between them. If the Pressure be not directly downwards, but sloping, as from K to L; and there be resisted by some crosswinds; or denser Part of the Atmosphere: it often reverts to M or O, and so generates Whirlwinds and Tornados. Sometimes you shall have a sudden Puffe of wind, driven from between two Clouds, with a violence Displosion of the Air; that descends almost Perpendicularly to the Earth.

In the latter sections of the book, Bohun turns his attention to hurricanes, and describes their cause and frequent locations. He notes that these great storms are to be most dreaded in the late summer months of July and August and describes their generally westward patterns. Bohun accurately depicts the center of the hurricane as calm and quiet, surrounded by a violent circumference. He concludes the volume with accounts of hurricanes by sea captains and residents of Caribbean Region.