Kent's Repertory

James Tyler Kent
Date Created: 
1899 2009 Walnut St, Philadelphia, Pa.
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The development anf formation of the Repertory.

James Tyle Kent, A.M., M.D.; Chicago: Ill. USA.

The early Repertories.

Not so many year after I was first a homeopath, there fell into my hands the first Boenninghausens's Repertory, Lippe's Repertory, Biegler's Diary, Minton's Diseases of Women and Jahr's Repertory, which in form was very good.  And Lippe's Repertory, in characteristics and form was very good.

I carried Lippe's Repertory with me for a number of years, until it was not only interleaved but doubly and trebly interleaved; the pages so cloesly written upon that it was impossible to find what I had written into it; so that ended in confusion.  But this was the one upon which my earlier reliance rested.

Then came the time, when I began to teach Materia Medica, in 1883, when I could readily see that we ought to have more.

The Symptom-Register, Allen's great Encyclopaedia, was so limited that it lacked half of the symptoms.

Jahr's Repertory was placed next in importance because it was a repertory of the grand old remedies.  It was good for these, but our pathogenesis had increased so much that iwas no longer a satisfactory work; it did not fill the requirements of my practice.  So I began taking up these works and effecting a compilation.

Eventually I had a larg manuscript of most of the repertory.  I talked with Lee, of Philadelphia, as Lippe's abridged form a new repertory was in his hands and Lippe desired me to enter upon the work of helping or uniting with Lee to produce a complete repertory.

At that time I had complete a REpertory of the Urniary Organs, of Chill, Fever and Sweat,with other sections partly complete.

Lee went to work and got out the MIND, and later I helped him to get out HEAD, but they were very incongruous.  The modalities in each rubric in MIND were give at the end of the book, and later the modalities of HEAD and GENERALITIES were placed at teh end of the book.  This was done in accordance with the understanding of Boenninghausen's idea of GENERALS.

Boenninghausen's Repetory

The chief difficulty with Boenninghausen's Repertory was that the modalities of the parts and those of the patient himself were all mixed together, so that the book was very unsatisfactory.  I did not use it successfully.  It was the best thing that he had given to us, but it was not equal to Jahr's old repertory.

Boenninghausen's first idea was that the modalities were satisfactorily arranged in connection wiht the symptoms to whcih they belonged.  He finally put out that condensed form, the Pocket-Book.  This, to my mond, was not properly Homoeopathy; but some of the doctors were able to use it.  The would greasp the idea, and of course the book was  the book was better than no reperotry.   I alwasys used it, for there wre time when I could find something in it frokm which to work out, when I could not find the modalities belonging to the system itself, separate from the GENERALS.

We found it very unwise to think of a patient works from lying down, confounded with the modality of all the particulars throughout the book, whether headache, pain in the eyes, pain in the back, difficult in breathing, pain in the stomach after eating, not specifying whether the modality reffered to this, that or the other thing, or whether it was the patient himself.  When we really stop to thing it over, we know we ought to have the general aggaravation or amelioration by lying down set in one place with it's causes, apart from all else.  The entire Boenninghausen book is arranged with modalites, general and particular all together.  Those of use who have used better things see how it was as it fell into our hands, yet with many good things in it.

Boenninghausen was a grand old man, but that was simply his idea nd it was defective for my method of parctice; because I soon grasped the idea that Hahnemann considered the mental symptoms and the physical symptoms.  He took the patient himself and said: the patient has modailties that are related to eaach of his individual parts by itself - put them together and let them come out as they will..

In a short time I saw that the plan started out by Lee was not what I had expected it to be; I told him so, and abandonded my effort to help him improve the repertory.  Then he becme nearly blind, in both eyes, and said that his health was nearly ruined, that he could not go on with the work and would have to give it up.

Taking up what had been started, I then reviesed it thoroughly and formed it according to my onw plan, which yoiu now have in my repertory.

A compilation.

This is a compilation of all the repertories, so far as I was able to make it, upon the plan which I arranged and adopted.  The plan followed chiefly Lippe's as shown in his small handbook fo Characteristics, gradually enlarging upon that work until it became what it was when the first fascicles were completed.

After that I took up the clinical symptoms, which I had recorded, and compared them wiht the provings as I had them;  very many of them were contradictory of the provings, and so were rejected.  Thos that were consistend with the provings I admitted to the repertory, setting them into the various passages where they belonged.

A section in type written form was by that time several inches in thickness.  That typewritten form was gone over many, many times;  so many times, because, as the compliation continued, things kept coming up that were bound to be more and more effective, and were coming up that were bound to be more and more effective and were constantly midifying theprovings, including in the provings such symptoms as were found verified.

At one time Dr. Biegler of Rochester was in my office, looking oove the pages and some of the Boston doctors coming to  me in Philadelphia wanted to look it over; they said:  "Why can't we have this Reperotry?"  I said,  @Because it will cost too much money.  I hav not made it for publication, but for myself, for my own use.  It was made because of the demands of my business, and is the outgrowth simply of my own personal requirements.  But I amd willing that everybody should have it."

Publication and Cost.

Then they insisted upon my making some plan for he publication of it and Drs. Kimbakk, Thurston and Biegler sent out circulars to see if they could secure enough subscriptions to justify the publication.  I consulted Dr. Boericke, president of the Boericke & Tafel and showed him the manuscript.  He said: "It is a great and useful thing.  I wish we had it; but it will cost too much money to publish and we could not undertake it."
.......The first figure obtained was about $9000 for the mere printing. (about US $189180 in 2009)  I did not feel like throwing away so much money.  As I talked it over with several other doctors, I did not believe there were more than three for four hundred, at the outside, who would have use for the work or would want it.

The circulars brought in a subscription list of between one hundred and ninety and two hunderd, not more than two hunderd, at $30 per copy. (About US$630 in 2009 dollars)   So I concluded that I would meet the expenses and to it out, with hope that it might prove useful to the world.

So it was issued section by section.  When the second section was out, I was notified by allk except ninety of the original subgscribers that as book was not what they expected to have, I might cancel their subscriptions.  Ninety stuck to their pledges and thier signatures and took the repertory.

Well things went from bad to better, not worse, and the Repertory was bonn, with much suffering in the eyes and heads and bodies of both myself and my wife; but of this you need not hear at length.

The book is now extensively used to the number of aboiut 1,600 copies throught the world, in India, England, the United States, a few in Germany, quite a number in France and also in Australia.

The Homoeopathicician, Vol. 4 Nos. 708, 1914

The Plan and Framework of  Kent's Repertory

"The plan of the Repertory is unform throughout and it is one, which admints of the indefinite expansion of each division, so that remedies can be added from time to time as they come into use or have been confirmed and verified.  It has been attempted to proceed in every case from generals to particulars and carrying out this aim has been to give first of a geneal rubric containing all the remedies, which have produced the symptoms, followed by the particular viz, the time of occurrence, the circumstance and lastly the extensioin.  Here it many be remarked in regard to extensions, that the point from which a certain symptom extends, is the one under which that symptom will be found, nerver under the point to which it extends"  (Dr. J.T. Kent.k 4, P.V.)