Views & Reviews Between the Lines

Gunning for it

BMJ 2008; 336 doi: https://doi.org/10.1136/bmj.39601.509942.59 (Published 05 June 2008) Cite this as: BMJ 2008;336:1313
  1. Theodore Dalrymple, writer and retired doctor

    Having reached the age of wishing for fewer rather than more possessions, I still covet only one class of material object: antiquarian books of special interest.

    To assist me in this irrational pursuit, several booksellers kindly send me their catalogues, which I pore over with fevered pleasure. Why books that were once held by historical figures should be so desirable to me, I leave to psychologists to discover; suffice it to say that recently I wanted desperately an early edition (1766, no place of publication) of Voltaire’s Treatise on Toleration.

    I wanted it because it had once belonged to the great French gynaecologist and supporter …

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