François Rousset's sixteenth-century treatise was the first known text to promote the idea of caesarean birth. In its time, Rousset's book was translated into German and Latin, but until publication of this book there was no known English translation. The original text was highly controversial four centuries ago, and caesarean section - especially the rising rate of caesarean births, with one-quarter to one-third of women now delivered using this procedure in some countries - continues to be a source of controversy in both the medical and lay text. It therefore seems appropriate to revisit the origins of the ongoing debate. In addition to the translation, the book contains an introduction by the translator and a commentary by the editor, as well as reproductions of contemporary woodcuts and illustrations. Also included are appendices providing a brief summary of 16th century French history, and an insight into Rousset's patron and most notable patients.