Boston: Houghton, Mifflin and Company, 1888. Forty-Ninth Edition. Hardcover. Octavo (5" x 7-1/2") in original gilt-decorated green cloth. A Grolier American 100 book. This copy INSCRIBED and SIGNED by the author on the front blank: "Harold C. Ernst/with the kind regards of/Oliver Wendell Holmes./August 7th 1888." Laid in is an AUTOGRAPH LETTER SIGNED from the author to Dr. Ernst dated 28 February 1891 thanking him for a lecture he sent to Holmes and asking Ernst to keep him informed of the progress in the new department in which he is involved. In full: "I am much obliged to you for your interesting Lecture which I sat down and read as soon as I received it. Therefore you should continue to keep us all informed from time to time of the progress making in this wonderful new department of science to which you are directing yourself." Holmes may be referring to a meeting of the New York Academy of Medicine on 16 October 1890 when Ernst spoke on the rabies virus and vaccination. (Louis Pasteur and Emile Roux developed the first rabies vaccine in 1885.) Apparently a copy that was once owned by Holmes himself as his bookplate is on the front pastedown. Laid in is a 1980 receipt from a bookseller selling each of these two items separately for one hundred and fifty dollars each. Contents clean; mild rubbing to spine tips. Near Fine. Item #015374
Dr. Harold C. Ernst was first a star pitcher on the baseball team at Harvard and later a professor of bacteriology and pathology at Harvard Medical School. In 1919 he was the first recipient in America of the Gold-Headed Cane Award.