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Roses & Rue Antiques

The First Patient: A Story, Written in Aid of the Fair for the Channing Home, 1859

The First Patient: A Story, Written in Aid of the Fair for the Channing Home, 1859

Regular price $200.00 USD
Regular price Sale price $200.00 USD
Sale Sold out

John Wilson and Son, Boston
First Edition

As a collector of Victorian mourning paraphernalia, I’ll pick up just about any 19th century book that addresses bereavement. That’s all I thought this was, but it turns out to be a very scarce piece of New England medical history & women’s contributions to the field. This story was privately published to aid a fundraiser for the Channing Home, a refuge for chronically ill women founded by Harriet Ryan Albee, who had previously been housing & caring for these women at her own expense. There hadn’t been an institution for chronically ill women before, and in Albee’s time, the home predominantly cared for women with tuberculosis, which ravaged 19th century America like wildfire. The author is not credited, but we know it was Catherine Tilden, which the owner of this book helpfully inscribed on the title page. 

The home had humble beginnings in the vestry of a church. Today, the institute is the Channing Laboratory, part of Brigham & Women’s Hospital in Boston. 

Brown, textured cloth covers with a gilded title & spine. Condition is excellent with slightly bumped corners being the only noteworthy issue. 

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