[ Arthur Hill Hassall, public health pioneer. ] Secretarial Letter, Signed 'Arthur. H. Hassall', to T. H. Huxley, presenting a copy of his 'The Narrative of a Busy Life', with the book and a manuscript copy of a letter from him to Lord Rayleigh.

Arthur Hill Hassall (1817-1894), physician and microscopist, pioneer in the field of public health [ Thomas Henry Huxley (1825-1895), biologist; Lord Rayleigh and the Royal Society ]
Publication details: 
Letter from Hassall to Huxley: 3 Alpenstrasse, Lucerne (on cancelled letterhead of Corso dell'Imperatrice, San Remo), 23 September 1893. Copy Letter from Hassall to Rayleigh, same details. Book: Longmans, Green, & Co., London and New York, 1893.
SKU: 20521

All three items in good condition, lightly aged, with the book in worn and spotted binding. ONE: Letter from Hassall to 'Professor Huxley', in the hand of 'an amanuensis' and signed by him. 3pp., 12mo. Tipped-in onto the half-title of Item Three below. He begins by explaining that he has 'directed Messrs. Longmans' to forward a copy of his book (which he describes as 'a brochure') to Huxley. 'It is sent not on account of the narrative, though possibly in this you may find something to interest you, but in the hope you will be able to bestow a few minutes on the Papers in the Appendix on the Colour of Leaves and which you were good enough to communicate to the Society.' He wrote to Huxley previously 'rather in a complaining spirit', and 'the enclosure' (Item Two below) will show that he was 'somewhat under a misapprehension. I was under the impression at the time, that while one of the Papers had been accepted, the other hand been rejected, the M.S. after an interval of more than 4 months having been returned to me, but I now see that Lord Rayleigh stated that both papers were deposited in the Archives of the Society.' The two papers are 'really to be regarded the one as the complement of the other', and why 'the Abstract of the first Paper should have been withheld and the M.S. Of the second Paper returned after so long has never been explained'. He hopes that Huxley's health has improved, his own having 'changed lately much for the worse'. He now suffers 'a good deal', and has to avail himself 'of the kind services of an amanuensis'. TWO: Copy, by the same 'amanuensis', and again signed by Hassall, of letter from Hassall to 'My Lord', i.e. John William Strutt, 3rd Baron Rayleigh (1842-1919). 2pp., 4to. Loosely inserted in Item Three below. The first page headed 'Copy.' The letter presents a copy of Hassall's book, drawing Rayleigh's attention to the appendix containing 'my two Papers on the Colouration of Leaves'. He proceeds to give an account of the Royal Society's treatment of the two papers, quoting from Rayleigh's own correspondence and that of 'Mr. Rive'. He states that he was 'surprised and somewhat hurt' by the return of the two papers, and 'came to the conclusion, that the autobiography presented a suitable opportunity for printing the Papers in question, as in this form they can be more readily understood than when in manuscript. Of course an author is seldom a competent judge of his own work. I know that I bestowed a great deal of time and consideration on the investigations and that in the opinion of some, I have succeeded in adding to the previous knowledge of the subject.' The letter concludes: 'I have thought it best to trouble you with the above remarks as there has evidently been a misunderstanding somewhere.' THREE: Copy of Hassall's book 'The Narrative of a Busy Life. An Autobiography' (London and New York: Longmans, Green, & Co., 1893). [6] + III + 167 + 82pp., 8vo. With twenty-four-page publishers' catalogue bound in at the end. Item One above tipped-in onto the half-title.