Views & Reviews Between the lines

Sheer delight in doing evil

BMJ 2007; 334 doi: http://dx.doi.org/10.1136/bmj.39251.456817.59 (Published 21 June 2007) Cite this as: BMJ 2007;334:1325
  1. Theodore Dalrymple, writer and retired doctor

    In Sir Arthur Conan Doyle's The Resident Patient, a doctor called Trevelyan comes to see Sherlock Holmes about a little problem. Dr Watson recognises him as the author of “a monograph on obscure nervous lesions.” Dr Trevelyan is delighted, naturally enough: “I so seldom hear of the work that I thought it was quite dead. My publishers give me a most discouraging account of its sale.”

    This, the common lot of all authors, or at least the lot of all the authors known to me in person (though this, I admit, may be a reflection merely on the nature of my literary acquaintance and therefore indirectly on me), is not the problem …

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