Views & Reviews Between the Lines

Doctors in the valleys

BMJ 2010; 341 doi: https://doi.org/10.1136/bmj.c6969 (Published 07 December 2010) Cite this as: BMJ 2010;341:c6969
  1. Theodore Dalrymple, writer and retired doctor

Rhys Davies (1901-78, born Vivian Rees Davies) was once known as the Welsh Chekhov, not because he was a doctor but for his short stories. And for a reason that I cannot fathom—because he was a very fine writer indeed—he is now all but forgotten except by specialists and thesis mongers.

He left his native Rhondda very early in his adulthood, but much of his writing is nevertheless about south Wales. He was accepted straightaway into the bohemian London of his day, and when he went to the south of France he befriended D H Lawrence, accompanying him from Bandol to Paris when he sought treatment for his tuberculosis.

His early work was published by small publishers in tiny …

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