Sound sleep adviceBMJ 2009; 339 doi: https://doi.org/10.1136/bmj.b4523 (Published 04 November 2009) Cite this as: BMJ 2009;339:b4523
- Theodore Dalrymple, writer and retired doctor
The author Arnold Bennett was a much loved man, even though Virginia Woolf disparaged what she thought was his work’s reactionary realism. When he lay dying from typhoid in Baker Street in 1931 (it is startling to recall that, within living memory, people could still die from typhoid in Baker Street) straw was strewn on the road to lessen the noise of traffic and thereby ensure his tranquillity during his last days.
Coming from a modest background in Staffordshire, he appreciated the good things of life that were not to be taken for granted in his birthplace. His appreciation was not vulgar or ostentatious but deeply and sincerely felt: Bennett was a thoroughly civilised, …