[Sir Henry Holland of Knutsford, physician, travel writer and socialite.] Autograph Letter Signed ('H Holland') [to Lovell Reeve?], giving detailed 'memoranda' of his life for inclusion in a 'biography of living men'.

Sir Henry Holland (1788-1873) of Knutsford, physician, travel writer and socialite [Lovell Reeve?]
Publication details: 
Brook Street [London]. 2 November 1856.
SKU: 21458

4pp, 4to. Bifolium. In good condition, lightly aged, with thin strip of paper from mount adhering to one edge. Seventy-four lines of closely and neatly written text. Although the date is somewhat early, the recipient may be Lovell Reeve, editor until 1865 of 'Portraits of Men of Eminence in Literature, Science, and Art, with Biographical Memoirs' (1863-1867). Having received the recipient's letter on his 'return from abroad', Holland states his 'general objection to the biography of living men'. Nevertheless, considering 'the motive you place before me of preventing error in what will be written, I put down a few memoranda, which may serve for the guidance you desire.' He begins his memoranda with the caveat: 'My life has been so active & varied a one, as well before I settled in London, as since, that I could not easily under any circumstances go beyond these few particulars'. He gives details of his birth; 'medical education'; travels in Iceland ('my Thesis on graduation was upon the Diseases of Iceland'); visits to military hospitals during the Peninsular War; travels 'in Greece & other parts of European Turkey'; 'In 1814 I accompanied the Princess of Wales, as her Physician, to Germany & Italy, & remained some months with her R. Highness'; settlement in London in 1816. Of the time which has since elapsed he writes: 'Every year, during these 40 years, I have maintained the habit of travelling for some weeks during the autumn; - my practice, which has been chiefly at the West End of the Town, admitting more readily on that account of this absence. In the course of these travels, I have repeatedly visited America, Africa, Asia, & every part of Europe.' He lists his awards and titles, from his election to the College of Physicians in 1828 to his degree of Doctor of Civil Law at Oxford in 1856. He concludes: 'These Memoranda have gone to greater length than I expected, or intended; & may probably exceed what you desire to know.' Postscript: 'I might perhaps have mentioned, but it is unimportant, that I am a Member of many other Scientific Societies, at home & abroad. It is not easy to write on these matters without the appearance, if not the reality, of egotism. Otherwise I might have given you other particulars as to my professional career, & general position in life, which I have refrained from mentioning.'