[Sir Alexander Crichton, personal physician to Tsar Alexander I of Russia.] Three Autograph Letters Signed (all 'Alr. Crichton') to his London publisher John Churchill, regarding publishing arrangements and review copies of his 'Commentaries'.

Sir Alexander Crichton (1763-1856), Scottish physician and author, personal physician to Tsar Alexander I of Russia [John Churchill (1801-1875), London medical publisher]
Publication details: 
All from The Grove, near Sevenoaks [Kent]. 23 July 1842; 20 August 1842; 13 June 1850.

The subject is all three letters is Crichton's 'Commentaries on Some Doctrines of a Dangerous Tendency in Medicine', published by Churchill in 1842, and the three cast light on publishing practices for medical publications in the booktrade in early Victorian London. All three with thin strip of paper from mount adhering to one edge. ONE: 23 July 1842. 1p, 12mo. In fair condition, lightly aged, with slight damp stain to one corner. Chrichton begins by asking to be sent 'the two bound Copies of my work to the Bolt and Tun Fleet St. before three oCl on the day you receive this viz. Monday'.

[Sir James Crichton-Browne, Scottish physician and psychiatrist.] Autograph Letter Signed ('James Crichton Browne') to 'Bastian', i.e. Charlton Bastian, questioning the 'overwhelming conclusions' of his 'ingenious and laborious experiments'.

Sir James Crichton-Browne (1840-1938), Scottish physician, psychiatrist and neurologist [(Henry) Charlton Bastian (1837-1915), physician and neurologist]
Publication details: 
Ivy Bush Hotel, Carmarthen (on cancelled letterhead of 'Crindau | Dumfries, N.B.' [Scotland]); 13 January 1907.

The entry on Bastian in the Oxford DNB finds one of 'the great paradoxes of Bastian's work' to be 'that in neurology his views were highly conventional, while in biology, and what became bacteriology, they became unorthodox and eventually eccentric.' Chief among Bastian's heterodox positions was his belief in the spontaneous generation of bacteria, the subject of the present letter. 8pp, 12mo. On two bifoliums, both with mourning borders. In fair condition, lightly aged and worn, with minor damp staining. He begins by thanking him for his letter and 'the interesting abstract enclosed'.

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