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    René Laennec Autograph Letter Signed. Four pages with integral address cover, 7.25" x 9"; Paris; April 3 and 13, 1811. Laennec writes to his father about his financial problems, his studies and his medical practice. In part: "I am currently rid of one of those things that took most of my time; and that is preparing for the exam you are talking about. It was just announced and registrations will open on August first; but it will be given only to fill vacancies in chemistry and obstetrics, specialties for which I am no more qualified to apply than you are. The one for Hippocrates' Doctrine and Rare Diseases, on which my eyes were set for the past ten years, was just cancelled, and the only thing that remains of my study is my having read Homer and Hippocrates in their own language. Those studies will not be, however, totally useless should a real position teaching medicine ever become vacant, but I'll never be as determined for it as I was for that job. What I regret most in this whole business is that the job in question would have made both you and me comfortable. With that one gone I don't know when I'll get comfortable. I am far from being able to find, as you thought, anything from last year's savings, which amount to 400 francs in expenses over what my income was. My circumstances, nevertheless, are always improving, if somewhat slowly, meaning that every day I see more sick people of a type that is supposed to pay for treatment; but times are so difficult that the wealthiest ones pay poorly or slowly or even not at all. In fact the people who owe me pay when they want to but I have to pay those people I owe money to when they want as well, which is very different, but that is the condition of Parisian doctors..." Accompanied by a full typed translation.

    René Laennec (1781-1826) was a French physician most noted for his invention of the stethoscope. His invention opened an entirely new field of physical diagnosis of pulmonary diseases including phthisis, pneumothorax, and emphysema.

    Condition: Light toning, with a center tear hole where the wax seal was removed. Address cover on final leaf. Small circular stain along right margin from wax seal, still present. Stray ink stains.


    Auction Info

    Auction Dates
    November, 2020
    12th Thursday
    Bids + Registered Phone Bidders: 13
    Lot Tracking Activity: N/A
    Page Views: 225

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