[Donald Monro, Physician General to the Army.] Autograph Letter Signed ('D. Monro. | Physician to the Army.') [to Thomas Cadell the elder, London bookseller], proposing terms for a revised edition of his 'Account of the Diseases'.

Donald Monro (1727-1802), Physician General to the Army, and medical author [Thomas Cadell the elder (1742-1802), London bookseller, successor to Andrew Millar (1705-1768)in the Strand]
Publication details: 
'Cox-Heath [Coxheath military camp near Maidstone, Kent] | Septr 21st – 1779.'
SKU: 21733

The recipient is not named, but as the letter makes clear it is Thomas Cadell the elder (1742-1802), successor to the celebrated bookseller Andrew Millar (1705-1768) in the Strand. Millar was one of the booksellers concerned in the first edition of Monro's 'Account of the Diseases which were most frequent in the British Military Hospitals in Germany' ('London: Printed for A. Millar, D. Wilson, and T. Durham, in the Strand; and T. Payne, at the Mews-Gate.') The letter casts light on the relationship between author and publisher in the eighteenth-century London book trade. 2pp, 4to. In fair condition, lightly aged and worn, with light label stains and thin strip of paper from mount to one edge. Thirty lines of text. The first paragraph reads: 'Sir | As I find that my Account of the Diseases most frequent in military Hospitals is out of print; I take the Liberty to acquaint you that I have made many & large additions to it, & that if you & the other Booksellers who were concerned in the first Edition chuse to reprint it, these Additions &c shall be at your service & I will take the trouble of correcting it when I come to town.' Monro points out that fourteen years have elapsed since the book was printed, '& of course the property reverts to me, & I have had several applications on that head from some of your Brother Booksellers, but as I disposed of it to your predecessor Mr Millar, & Mr Wilson & Durham & Mr Payne, I intend to take no advantage that the explication of the Law has given to the Author, but to let the original proprietors have the Benefit if they chuse to reprint it; & I shall expect nothing for the Additions & trouble of correcting but a few Copies to give in presents to my friends.' He requests an answer, 'so soon as you have consulted your Brother Booksellers concerning the work, because if you or they do not chuse to reprint it I will give the work to some of those who have applied to me, for tho' I do not want to make money by it yet I wish to have an Edition of it printed with Additions I have made & corrected by myself.' In a postscript he asks for Cadell's answer to be directed to him 'at Cox-Heath near Maidstone – Kent – So soon as the Camp breaks up I shall be in London which will I hope be some time about the end of next Month'. In 1780 a second edition of Monro's book did appear, but 'Printed for J. Murray, at No. 32, in Fleet-Street; and G. Robinson, at No. 25, in Paternoster-Row'. From the distinguished autograph collection of the psychiatrist Richard Alfred Hunter (1923-1981), whose collection of 7000 works relating to psychiatry is now in Cambridge University Library. Hunter and his mother Ida Macalpine 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'.