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Historic Autograph Letters, Manuscripts & Documents

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ROGET, PETER M.  (1779-1869).  English scholar and physician; best known for compiling the famous Thesaurus of English Words and Phrases; Secretary of the Royal Society (1827-1849); Fullerian professor of physiology at Royal Society.   Noteworthy, and a superb association Autograph Letter Signed, “P. M. Roget”.  Three pages, quarto.  London, November 25, 1837.  Seal tears closed, else very fine condition.  Addressed in Roget’s holograph on integral address leaf to “Professor Henslow, Cambridge”.  Roget writes:


 “Dear Sir, I received the note you were so good as to send me through Dr. Jerrard, and hasten to answer your letter received this morning.  Faraday has sent me the sketch which you drew up to form part of our report, together with his own.  I shall send both of these to the University, directed to Faraday, who I presume will attend the meeting of the Senate on Wednesday.  It unfortunately happens that the Duke of Sussex has fixed on that day for a meeting to audit the accounts of the Royal Society which I shall be obliged to attend, and the hour exactly interferes with that at which the Senate will meet. 

I shall, however, be happy to meet you and Faraday some other time on Wednesday, and shall endeavour to arrange with him some plan for that purpose, and inform you by a note directed to Clement…  It appears to me that we could settle the whole in a quarter of an hour.  I fear we should not be warranted in setting the request up in type for the purpose of correction merely.  I remain, Dear Sir, yours very truly   P. M. Roget. 

P.S. Will you have the kindness to bring with you, when you come to town, the sketch which I sent to you respecting the subject of Animal Physiology?”


The Royal Society, founded in the 17th century, was a place for brilliant scientists and physicians to garner information from one another and test their theories.  In 1837, Peter Roget was Secretary of the society and Michael Faraday, renowned professor of chemistry and physics, was Chair of Chemistry at the Royal Institution.  According to this letter, Roget and Faraday were working together on a scientific report for presentation.  At that time, Faraday was already well-known for his discoveries of electromagnetic induction and the laws of electrolysis.  Roget, however, had not yet published the work he would become best known for.  His compilation, Thesaurus of English Words and Phrases, which went through 28 editions during his lifetime, was published in 1852.                                              





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