Views & Reviews Between the Lines

In with the wrong crowd

BMJ 2008; 336 doi: (Published 26 June 2008) Cite this as: BMJ 2008;336:1509
  1. Theodore Dalrymple, writer and retired doctor

    As Oscar Wilde so justly observed, work is the curse of the drinking classes. No one would have agreed more heartily than Charles Lamb, the essayist and friend of the Romantics. He hated his work in the offices of the East India Company and thought that it all but destroyed his literary gifts. When his office superior upbraided him for always arriving late at work, he replied, “Yes, sir, but to make up for it I always leave early.”

    In his Last Essays of Elia, he wrote his Confessions of a Drunkard. There can hardly be a doctor in practice, at least in the United Kingdom, …

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