[Marshall Hall, celebrated physician and pioneering neurologist.] Autograph Letter Signed ('Marshall Hall') to the London medical publisher John Churchill, announcing that he is 'to give up lecturing'.

Marshall Hall (1790-1857), celebrated physician and neurophysiologist [John Spriggs Morss Churchill (1801-1875), London medical publisher; Royal Society of London]
Publication details: 
14 Manchester Square [London]. 20 December 1838.
SKU: 21427

2pp, 12mo. Bifolium. In good condition, lightly aged, with the text of the letter on both sides of the first leaf, and the address on the reverse of the second leaf, only half of which is present after a central vertical cut. Strip of stub from mount adhering to one edge. Folded three times. The letter is addressed, after the valediction, 'For Mr Churchill', and addressed on the second leaf to 'Mr. Churchill | Prince's Street | Soho'. The letter begins: 'Dear Sir, | I am about to give up lecturing. It occurred to me that you might have some friend who would like to succeed me at Sydenham College. If so pray let me know before speaking to him.' He states that he has '33 pupils new this year, a very good beginning', and that 'every thing is going on most satisfactorily'. The context of the letter is explaind in the Oxford DNB. In 1837 Hall's Memoirs on the Nervous System' was rejected by the Royal Society, and 'in an open letter [he] begged the council to appoint a commission to witness his experiments before dismissing his work completely. Furthermore, if offered funding he volunteered to withdraw from his practice for a while and devote himself entirely to further research on the nervous system.' The offer was rejected. 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'.