A bit of a doctorBMJ 2007; 335 doi: https://doi.org/10.1136/bmj.39288.628287.59 (Published 02 August 2007) Cite this as: BMJ 2007;335:263
- Theodore Dalrymple, writer and retired doctor
Pulp fiction is not literature, of course, but that of a bygone age is not without historical interest. It also tells us something of the popular medical conceptions of its period.
Edgar Wallace was the most famous author of his day. He wrote 175 novels, and 160 films were made of them. His publisher claimed in the 1920s that one in four books sold in Britain was “an Edgar Wallace.” Quite often, when you buy a second hand copy of one of his books, a previous owner has ticked the titles he has read on the list of other books by Edgar Wallace that appears before the title page, as if reading them were in compliance …