Views & Reviews Between the Lines

Singing the royal blues

BMJ 2008; 336 doi: (Published 14 February 2008) Cite this as: BMJ 2008;336:393
  1. Theodore Dalrymple, writer and retired doctor

    Friedrich Schiller (1759-1805) was the son of a doctor and a doctor himself, and yet when people compile lists of famous doctor-writers, strangely he is seldom included. I don’t really know why this should be. It is true that he was a somewhat reluctant member of our profession, and practised for only a short time as a regimental surgeon in Württemberg; but Somerset Maugham never practised once he had qualified, and he is always included in such lists.

    One of Schiller’s best-known plays is Don Carlos, which combines romanticism with the ideals of the Enlightenment. It is so long that it has never been performed in its original version, concision not being Schiller’s virtue at the time. Set in the Spain of …

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