# 20585

SMITH, Louis L. (Louis Lawrence), 1830-1910

Our Doctor : or, the Colonial medical and surgical handbook, containing reliable information and full instructions for families and those resident in the bush;

  • Sold

how to act in emergencies, accidents, and common sickness. Melbourne : A.H. Massina &​ Co., 72 Little Collins Street East, [1878]. Small octavo, original stitching (lacking the wrappers?), pp viii, [9]-96; mild damp stain to top margin of most leaves, small loss to top corner of first few leaves, loss to bottom corner of final leaf (small loss of text), penultimate leaf with marginalia, occasional spotting; otherwise a sound copy. Not in Ford, Bibliography of Australian Medicine.

A very rare medical handbook for the rural layperson in the Australian colonies by Melbourne physician Dr. L.L. Smith, of which two editions are recorded. There can be little doubt that the Melbourne edition, published by Massina & Co. in 1878, was the primary edition, and that the Sydney edition, under the imprint of Gibbs, Shallard & Co., was printed some time later. The State Library of New South Wales holds the only known copies of either edition in Australian collections. Its catalogue entry for the Melbourne edition suggests a publication date of 1886, which is clearly incorrect as the following contemporary newspaper reports attest:

A review was published in the Victorian Western District newspaper the Camperdown Chronicle, 6 August 1878:

‘”Our Doctor,” by Dr. L.L. Smith, L.S.A. is an unpretentious little volume of one hundred pages, price one shilling, published by A. H. Massina and Co., Little Collins-street, East Melbourne. It treats of all the ills that flesh is heir to, and is really a very useful little work, well suited for residents in the country. Where a real live doctor is not at hand, this little work may be consulted with the greatest advantage.’

Massina & Co. evidently also sent a review copy to the Williamstown Chronicle, who published the following precis of the publication on 17 August 1878:

‘WE have received from the publishers  Messrs. Massina, and Co.. a valuable little work bearing the title of “Our Doctor.” It is written by Dr. L. L Smith, and contains useful information as to the preservation of health and the treatment of disease.’