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Gaceta Sanitaria

Print version ISSN 0213-9111


TUELLS, José. The revision process of Francisco Xavier Balmis' translation of Moreau de la Sarthe's Historical and Practical Treatise on Vaccines. Gac Sanit [online]. 2012, vol.26, n.4, pp.372-375. ISSN 0213-9111.

Moreau de la Sarthe's Traité historique et pratique de la vaccine, translated by Francisco Xavier de Balmis and published in 1803, was one of the protagonists of the Royal Philanthropic Expedition of the Vaccine, and became the first official vaccination manual recognized by a government. Balmis decided to translate Moreau's work in 1801, joining the first generation of disseminators of Edward Jenner's method in Spain. The translation process from return for review to final publication 16 months later is analyzed in this article. After Balmis submitted the still-incomplete work, the reviewer pointed out errors in style and in the translation itself, and omissions of passages from the original. After revision and correction, the translation was finally accepted. Balmis did not obtain the authorization to include a dedication to Queen María Luisa, however, which would have increased the book's impact, as it was not considered a singular work of its kind or one of outstanding merit. Finally, Balmis dedicated his work to the mothers of families. With an initial print run of 500 copies, which was followed immediately by 2,000 more, his work was widely distributed throughout Hispanic America. The study notes the influence of the reviewers in the quality of scientific production.

Keywords : Vaccine; Smallpox; Francisco Xavier Balmis; J.L. Moreau de la Sarthe.

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