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Online Encyclopedia
Originally appearing in Volume V08, Page 629 of the 1911 Encyclopedia Britannica.
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GUILLAUME BENJAMIN AMAND DUCHENNE (1806-1875), French physician, was born on the 17th of September 18o6 at Boulogne, the son of a sea-captain. He was educated at Douai, and then studied medicine in Paris until the year 1831, when he returned to his native town to practise his profession. Two years later he first tried the effect of electro-puncture of the muscles on a patient under his care, and from this time on devoted himself more and more to the medical applications of electricity, thereby laying the foundation of the modern science of electro-therapeutics. In 1842 he removed to Paris for the sake of its wider clinical opportunities, and there he worked until his death over thirty years later. His greatest work, L' Electrisation localisee (1855), passed through three editions during his lifetime, though by many his Physiologie des mouvements (1867) is considered his masterpiece. He published over fifty volumes containing his researches on muscular and nervous diseases, and on the applications of electricity both for diagnostic purposes and for treatment. His name is especially connected with the first description of locomotor ataxy, progressive muscular atrophy, pseudo-hypertrophic paralysis, glosso-labio laryngeal paralysis and other nervous troubles. He died in Paris on the 17th of September 1875. DUCHESNE 629 For a detailed life see Archives generales de medicine (December 1875), and for a complete list of his works the 3rd edition of L'Electrisation locatisee (1872). DU CHESNE [Latinized DueaENlus, QUERNEUS, Or QUERCETANUS], ANDRE (1584-164o), French geographer and historian, generally styled the father of French history, was born at Ile-Bouchard, in the province of Touraine, in May 1584. He was educated at Loudun and afterwards at Paris. From his earliest years he devoted himself to historical and geographical research, and his first work, Egregiarum seu selectarum lectionum et antiquitatum liber, published in his eighteenth year, displayed great erudition. He enjoyed the patronage of Cardinal Richelieu, a native of the same district with himself, through whose influence he was appointed historiographer and geographer to the king. He died in 164o, in consequence of having been run over by a carriage when on his way from Paris to his country house at Verriere. Du Chesne's works were very numerous and varied, and in addition to what he published, he left behind him more than loo folio volumes of manuscript extracts now preserved in the Bibliotheque Nationale (L.Delisle, Le Cabinet des manuscrits de la bibliotheque imperiale, t. L, 333-334). Several of his larger works were continued by his only son Francois du Chesne (1616-1693), who succeeded him in the office of historiographer to the king. The principal works of Andre du Chesne are—Les Antiquites et recherches de la grandeur et majeste des rois de France (Paris, 1609), Les Antiquites et recherches des villes, chdteaux, &c., de toute la France (Paris, 16(39), Histoire d'Angleterre, d' Ecosse, et d'Irelande (Paris, 1614), Histoire des Papes jusqu' a Paul V (Paris, 1619), Histoire des rois, discs, et comtes de Bourgogne (1619–1628, 2 1,ols. fol.), Historiae Normanorum scriptores antiqui (1619, fol., now the only source for some of the texts), and his Historiae Francorum scriptores (5 vols. fol., 1636-1649). This last was intended to comprise 24 volumes, and to contain all the narrative sources for French history in the middle ages; only two volumes were published by the author, his son Francois published three more, and the work remained unfinished. Besides these du Chesne published a great number of genealogical histories of illustrious families, of which the best is that of the house of Montmorency. His Histoire des cardinaux frangais (2 vols. fol. 166o–1666) and Histoire des chanceliers et garde, des sceaux de France (163o) were published by his son Francois. Andre also published a translation of the Satires of Juvenal, and editions of the works of Alcuin, Abelard, Alain Chartier and Etienne Pasquier.

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