[Sir Richard Owen, palaeontologist.] Autograph Letter Signed ('Richard Owen'), declining an invitation to the annual dinner of the Hunterian Society of London, because of his 'state of health'.

Sir Richard Owen (1804-1892), palaeontologist, Superintendent of the Natural History Department of the British Museum, opponent of Darwin's theory of Evolution [Hunterian Society of London]
Publication details: 
On letterhead of Sheen Lodge, Richmond Park. 21 January 1888.
SKU: 21443

1p, 12mo. On bifolium. In good condition, lightly aged, with thin strip of paper from mount adhering to edge of second leaf. The recipient is not named, but is probably the secretary of the Hunterian Society. Owen sends his 'best respects to the President and Council of the Hunterian Society of London, and a grateful appreciation of the honour of their Invitation', but regrets that 'my state of health confines me to the Lodge and precludes my enjoying the pleasure of joining the Society at their Annual Dinner on February 10th.' He ends with 'best wishes for the prosperity and perpetuity of the Society'. From the distinguished autograph collection of Richard Hunter, son of Ida Macalpine, whose collection of 7000 books relating to psychiatry is in Cambridge University Library. Macalpine and Hunter had a particular interest in the illness of King George III, and their book 'George III and the Mad Business' (1969) suggested the diagnosis of porphyria popularised by Alan Bennett in his play 'The Madness of George III'.