[ Reginald Southey, inventor of 'Southey's Cannula' and lifelong friend of Charles Lutwidge Dodgson ('Lewis Carroll') ] Autograph Letter Signed to Sir Richard Harington, describing his failing health and reviewing his career as Lunacy Commissioner.

Reginald Southey (1835-1899), physician and inventor of 'Southey's Cannula', friend of Charles Lutwidge Dodgson ('Lewis Carroll') [ Sir Richard Harington (1835-1911) of Ridlington, 11th Baronet ]
Publication details: 
On letterhead of the Commissioners in Lunacy [ London ]. 12 August 1897.
SKU: 19550

6pp., 8vo. In good condition, lightly aged. A nice association between two of Dodgson's Christ Church friends, Southey also introducing Dodgson to photography. The subject of the letter is Southey's failing health. 'I am not so pressed', he writes, 'as to be forced to send in my resignation at once, - in fact shall hold on & be able to do my work with a little help up to July next when I shall have accomplished 15 years service & got a retiring pension of about £600 a year - - | But experience of the past year and the way in which the trravellg has taken away both my strength & my spirits convinces me that the time has well nigh come when I must husband my vital powers, if I would live at all.' A doctor has advised him to 'give up the travellg the hotel life & the Asylum visiting work [...] these together take too much out of me is apparent by the steady loss of weight, diminished digestive power & increasing loss of sleep'. He hopes to recuperate and live on, 'still being a bit useful in my generation & helping my family there is work at the College of Physicians & perhaps as an Examiner that I fancy could still do as well as ever I did, but I can knock about climb staircases & wait for trains at draughty stations in all weathers no longer'. He hopes he has 'affected some good service as a Commissr. which I have certainly striven to, the appointment I owed in no small degree to yourself and to what you said to Lord Selborne in my behalf - I have endeavoured to throw what capacity I had into the work.' From the Harington family papers.