A physician's vacation; or, a summer in Europe. Boston: Ticknor and Fields, 1856
8vo. iv, 564 pp. Original pebbled brown cloth, decorated in blind, some light spotting, sunned at spine; very light browning, otherwise a fine uncut copy. $125.00
First edition of the author's autobiographical account of a trip taken to Europe to visit Sir James Young Simpson, obstetrician and pioneer in the field of anaesthetics. Channing (1786-1876) enjoyed a fifty-year career as Boston's most prominent obstetrician, a professor of midwifery and medical jurisprudence at Harvard, and editor of the New England Journal of Medicine and Surgery (as well as its successor, the Boston Medical and Surgical Journal). Channing came from an illustrious family, his father was a U.S. District attorney, his maternal grandfather was a signer of the Declaration of Independence, his younger brother succeeded John Quincy Adams as Boylston professor of Rhetoric at Harvard, and his elder brother was acknowledged to be one of the greatest preachers of all time. Channing was instrumental in the founding of the Boston Lying-in Hospital, served on the original staff at the Massachusetts General Hospital, and supported the founding of the New England Hospital for Women and Children.