Views & Reviews Between the Lines

A dish best eaten cold

BMJ 2009; 338 doi: (Published 04 February 2009) Cite this as: BMJ 2009;338:b433
  1. Theodore Dalrymple, writer and retired doctor

    Not only have many doctors been distinguished writers, of course, but many distinguished writers have been the sons or daughters of doctors. I leave it to epidemiologists to decide whether more distinguished writers have had medical parents than could be expected by chance—but so, at any rate, it seems to me.

    Among the writers whose father was a doctor was the German playwright Frank Wedekind (1864–1918). His father had been, among other things, physician to the sultan in Constantinople. An ardent democrat, he joined the revolution of 1848 in Germany but emigrated to the United States after its defeat and then returned to Switzerland.

    Like many an ardent democrat Wedekind père was a domestic …

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