[Thomas Arnold, physician and writer on mental illness.] Autograph Letter Signed ('Thos. Arnold.') to physician and botanist Richard Pulteney, requesting on behalf of William Withering the loan of a book and assistance with his researches..

Thomas Arnold (1742-1816), Leicester physician and writer on mental illness [Richard Pulteney (1730-1801), physician and botanist, biographer of Linnaeus; William Withering (1741-1799), botanist]
Publication details: 
Leicester; 21 September 1789.
SKU: 21631

3pp, 4to. Bifolium, addressed on reverse of second leaf, with seal in red wax, to 'Dr. Pulteney, Physician, | at Blandford, | Dorsetshire.' Arnold begins by stating that he is 'desired by Dr: Withering' to inform Pulteney 'that he has part of the third Volume of his Botanical Arrangement ready for your acceptance, & will put it into my hand to convey to you, in a few days'. Withering 'reserves for further investigation' the 'Class Cryptogamia' and 'means to introduce a synoptic view of all Hedwig's discoveries'. Unluckily Withering is 'not in possession of Dillenius's book on Mosses; & is unable to procure it for any Money', but Arnold has told him that Pulteney 'was in possession of it, when I had the happiness of making a part of your family: & he begged I would inform you of his distress; which, as a botanist, & a warm friend to the Science, he did not doubt that you would be ready to relieve, were the book still in your library.' Withering would either be willing to buy the book ('at your own price') or borrow it, in which case he has told Pulteney to tell Withering 'that you may have the most perfect reliance in his care of it, & on receiving it again, as soon as his work is finished, without the most trifling injury'. He will also welcome 'any communications' from Pulteney 'on that difficult, & extensive class; & will insert such of them in his work, as you shall permit him to insert, provided you will allow him at the same time to affix your name: for that he shall make it an invariable rule, to insert no observations of others, without producing his authorities.' He ends with best wishes to Pulteney's family. 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'.