Views & Reviews Between the Lines

An author spurned

BMJ 2010; 340 doi: (Published 29 March 2010) Cite this as: BMJ 2010;340:c1759
  1. Theodore Dalrymple, writer and retired doctor

    Almost everyone who has written for publication has received letters of rejection; and I think it a fair surmise that almost everyone reacts, at least in the first instance, by supposing that the fault lies not with what they have written but with the blindness and folly of the publisher.

    This was certainly the reaction of H Charlton Bastian (1837-1915)—emeritus professor of the principles and practice of medicine at University College London and physician to the National Hospital in Queen Square—to the refusal of the Royal Society (of which he was a fellow) to publish his researches into the spontaneous generation of bacteria.

    In the foreword to his book The Origin of Life: Being an Account of Experiments with Certain …

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