Sir Alexander Fleming (1881-1955), Scottish biologist and pharmacologist, discoverer of penicillin and co-winner of the Nobel Prize for physiology and medicine in 1945
31 October 1953; on letterhead of 20A Danvers Street, Cheyne Walk, London, S.W.3.
8vo: 1 p. Good, laid down on the reverse of the front free endpaper of a copy of Andre Maurois's 'The Life of Sir Alexander Fleming' (London, 2nd imp., 1959). Reads 'Thank you very much. We would be delighted to be with you on Nov 12th. I think all is well with me now & I am off to Edinburgh on Monday. | Yours sincerely | [signed] Alec. Fleming'. The context is explained on pp. 265-6 of the book. 'In October 1953 he was due to make a speech at the opening of 'Les Journees Medicales' in Nice. Two days before the appointed date, he woke up with a high fever. He himself diagnosed pneumonia.
Sir James Gray (1880-1975), British zoologist who helped establish the field of cytology [structure of cells etc]
On letterhead of King's Field, West Road, Cambridge. 31 January 1962.
1p., 8vo. In fair condition, lightly-aged, with small pin-hole at top left and Gray's signature underlined in red pencil. He would have 'loved' to chair 'Dr. Cole's "Cantor" Lecture on 22 May, but has to 'attend at [sic] series of meetings in Ireland during the whole of that week'. He has written to Cole on the matter.
Felix Plater (1536-1614), Swiss physician and professor at the University of Basel, pioneer in fields of psychiatry and germ theory of disease
Basil. May 1611.
On one side of an 11.5 x 7.5 cm piece of paper. In fair condition, aged and stained. Consisting of a two-line improving Latin quotation beginning: 'Nullius est Felix'. Signed beneath this: 'Felix Platerus Basil | Archiatros & Prof. | Ao S
1611 Maio | Ao AM. 73'. On the reverse are two longer signed quotations, both in calligraphic hands, the lower of the two by 'Johannes Philippus a Fritten back', dated 28 February 1607. The author is identified in pencil in a later hand as John Phillips who died in 1640.
Sir Richard Owen (1804-1892), biologist and leading opponent of Charles Darwin [ Herbert Rose Barraud (1845-1896), London photographer ]
Mounted on printed card of 'Mr. Barraud | 96 Gloucester Place | Portman Square | London. W.' Undated [ 1888 ]. Card printed by Marion Imprimerie, Paris.
14.5 x 10 cm sepia print, mounted on 16.5 x 11 cm photographer's printed card with rounded edges, printed by Marion Imprimerie, Paris. The photograph in good condition, the card with slight wear at foot. A striking image of an elderly Owen, his dapper velvet cap and cravat contrasting with his dishevelled hair, thick-set mouth, and watery determined eyes, which stare to the left of the viewer in what is (appropriately for a Lancastrian) almost a gurn. The National Portrait Gallery has an uncropped version of the image, dated by them to 1888.
Sir Richard Owen (1804-1892), English biologist, comparative anatomist and palaeontologist, 1859 publications
Ardwick Hall, Manchester .
Two pages, 12mo, fold marks, good condition, text clear and complete. My first lecture I published in May last 'On the Classification & Geographical Distribution of Mammalia" | 8vo Parker's, Strand. | The matter of the other three lectures will appear in a work on fossil Mammalia in the Press (Murray) [presumably "Summary of the succession in time and geographical distribution of recent and fossil Mammalia " (1859)]
Sir John Simon (1816-1904), English pathologist [ Freshfield family ]
40 Kensington Square W. [ London ] 24 March 1894.
1p., 16mo. In good condition, lightly aged and spotted. Since she is going away, he considers it 'safer' to return the 'Oedipus', which has given him great pleasure. He hopes she will enjoy her 'Freshwater outing', and that 'we may remain above the horizon to welcome your return to town'. The Freshfields were a noted family of solicitors, with strong connections with the Bank of England.
'James R. Davis, B.A. | (Of Trinity College, Cambridge.)' [Professor James Richard Ainsworth Davis (1861-1834); Cheney & Sons, General, Commercial & Artistic Printers, Banbury]
'14, Calthorpe Road, Banbury, Oxon. | August 17th, 1883.' [Cheney & Sons, General, Commercial & Artistic Printers, Banbury, Oxfordshire.]
Three pieces of Victorian educational and scientific ephemera, and nice pieces of provincial printing. All three items nearly fine. ONE: 'APPLICATION for the Biological Chair of the "University College of South Wales and Monmouthshire."' Dated from Calthorpe Road on 17 August 1883, and addressed to 'IVOR JAMES, Esq. | Registrar, | University College of South Wales and Monmouthshire.' 1p., 4to. On bifolium.
Charles Janet (849–1932), French engineer, company director, inventor and biologist.
[Printed headed notepaper] Charles Janet, Ingénieur de Arts et Manufactures, Voisinlieu-les-Beauvais, Par Alonne (Oise), 10 Juillet 1923. En francais.
One page, 12mo, good condition. He acknowledges receipt of a letter from Crow [identified through this letter being with a batch of letters addressed to him] "et des deux publications que vous avez bien voulu m'envoyer et qui sont intéressantes pour moi. | Je vous ai envoyé hier le 2me Memoire sur le Volvox | Vous recevez prochainement le 3me Mémoire qui traite de l'outogénèse de la blastea volvocéenne."
Eugenio Rignano, Jewish Italian philosopher, sometime editor of the journal 'Scientia'.
[Printed heading] "Scientia", etc, 18 Dec. 1927.
2pp., 8vo, bifolium, some creasing, small closed tear, text clear and complete. He has just been able to read Crow's article 'the primitive forms of life' which he found interesting. But he declines to publish it because the length does not conform to their standard of 10 pages (being 20 pages).
Charles Singer, historian of science, technology, and medicine
5 North Grove, Highgate Village, [London], N6, 1928-1931.
Total of five letters, total 5pp., 8vo (4) and 12mo (1), small amount of chipping and staining, texts clear and complete. (1928) He acknowledges receipt of "Symmetry in Organisms" which he read with 'pleasure & profit'; (March 1929) He acknowldges recipt of 'Principles of Morphology' which he found particularly interesting "because I am writing the section on the subject in my 'History of Biology'"; (April 1929) "I am delighted to sign your application for teh Royal Society of Medicine. I fear you will find it rather expensive.
Thomas Henry Huxley [T. H. Huxley] (1825-1895), English biologist and a leading advocate of Charles Darwin's theory of evolution
On letterhead of Hodeslea, Staveley Road, Eastbourne. 24 November 1892.
2pp., 12mo. Bifolium. Very good, on lightly-aged paper. The name of the addressee is indistinct, and appears to be 'S. Algernon'. The letter reads: 'Dear Sir | I regret that I am unable to give the Lecture you ask for. I really have no business to undertake any kind of public speaking & except in very special circumstances, I keep out of it'.
David Joseph Scourfield (1866-1949), ISO, FLS, FZS, FRMS, biologist and microscopist [Dr William Bernard Crow (1895-1976), biologist and occultist]
63 Queen's Road, Leytonstone, E11. 26 September 1927.
3pp., 12mo. Good, on lightly-aged paper, on two leaves pinned together. He begins: 'I am sending herewith living specimens from Eagle Pond, Epping Forest, of a species of Volvox without protoplasmic connections between the cells. If you have not had it before you will no doubt be interested. If you have, I should be glad if you could tell me what you think it ought to be called. It is evidently close, if not identical, with V. Monona Gilb. Smith recorded by Pearsall as British from the Lake Dist. But it may also be V. tertius Meyer (cf.
Three pages, 12mo, minor defects, text clear and complete. I fear I quite forgot to send you the names of the books on 'fungi', and now I have not got them with me. But as the messenger is going up to Christiania I am sending you some rather crude pictures, which may be of some use pending the arrival of better books which I shall recommend shortly. | But for heaven's sake be careful! Some are so poisonous that no doctor can be of any use.