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Lot #189
Alexander Fleming

Fleming recovers from pneumonia, thanks to his discovery

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Estimate: $500+
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Fleming recovers from pneumonia, thanks to his discovery

Scottish bacteriologist (1881-1955) who shared the 1945 Nobel Prize in Medicine for his role in the discovery and isolation of penicillin. ALS signed “Alex. Fleming,” one page, 4.5 x 7, personal letterhead, October 31, 1953. Letter to "Peggy," in full: "Thank you very much. We would be delighted to be with you on Nov. 12th. I think all is well with me now & I am off to Edinburgh on Monday." Affixed opposite the half-title page inside a hardcover volume of The Life of Sir Alexander Fleming by Andre Maurois, second impression, published in London by Jonathan Cape in 1959. The context of the letter is explained on pages 265-266: "In October 1953 he was due to make a speech at the opening of 'Les Journees Medicales' in Nice. Two days before the appointed date, he woke up with a high fever. He himself diagnosed pneumonia. His doctor confirmed this and immediately gave him an injection of penicillin. His fever abated in the course of the day. The rapidity with which the penicillin had done its work enchanted him. 'I had no idea it was so good!' he said…He kept to his bed for a fortnight, and then got up too soon, since, as Rector of the University of Edinburgh, he had to be present at the installation of the Duke of Edinburgh as Chancellor." In fine condition, with light rippling from being pasted down.

Auction Info

  • Auction Title: August
  • Dates: #533 - Ended August 08, 2018

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