The manuscript is a letter by De Quincey that forms part of the graduation thesis of his son Francis John De Quincey (1823–61), and is held in the University of Edinburgh Library, Special Collections (MD 1849). Francis’s thesis is entitled On the Religious Objections to the use of Chloroform in Obstetric Medicine, and is eighty-five pages in total. It is written on blue-lined white paper with red horizontal marginal lines. The pages measure 212 by 272 mm, and are bound in black leather, now badly scuffed. The thesis itself covers from page one to page sixty-six. De Quincey’s letter begins at the bottom of page sixty-six and concludes on page eighty-five. The entire work, including De Quincey’s letter, is written in Francis’s hand. De Quincey’s letter is dated ‘December, 1847’. Francis completed the thesis, and copied out his father’s letter, sometime in the following fifteen months, for pages three, thirteen, fifteen, forty-seven, seventynine and eighty-five are watermarked ‘1848’, and on the title page the thesis is dated ‘31st March, 1849’.