Views & Reviews Between the Lines

Arsenic and old ways

BMJ 2010; 340 doi: (Published 09 June 2010) Cite this as: BMJ 2010;340:c2951
  1. Theodore Dalrymple, writer and retired doctor

    Whenever I enter a medical library and look at the ranks (that I dare not call serried) of buckram-bound journals, I think I have entered a graveyard of ambition, with all those heavy, unregarded tomes being the tombstones of the hopes and efforts that produced them.

    Still, once they are old enough, they might become of antiquarian interest. It is only the recent past that we do not invest with romance because it is too close to present mundanities.

    Recently I bought an isolated volume of the Dublin Journal of Medical Science, namely that for July to December 1879. It was advertised as being particularly interesting because it contained Lister’s lecture to the …

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