Laudanum in LakelandBMJ 2001; 323 doi: https://doi.org/10.1136/bmj.323.7304.100 (Published 14 July 2001) Cite this as: BMJ 2001;323:100
- Philip Mortimer, consultant virologist
- Central Public Health Laboratory, London NW9 5HT
Among the Christmas reading in our family last year was A Passionate Sisterhood by Kathleen Jones. This carefully researched book begins with the young lives of the two sets of sisters—the Frickers and the Hutchinsons—that Coleridge, Wordsworth, and Southey married into, and with Wordsworth's own sister, Dorothy. Then, in its later chapters, Coleridge's daughter Sara and Wordsworth's daughter Dora, together with Southey's daughters, take centre stage.
More may often be learnt about the medicine of earlier times from lay people than from what their doctors wrote about it. The lay sources are …