Views & Reviews Between the Lines

A doctor’s dramatic diary

BMJ 2010; 341 doi: (Published 21 December 2010) Cite this as: BMJ 2010;341:c7152
  1. Theodore Dalrymple, writer and retired doctor

The excellence and extent of doctors’ contributions to writing has long been recognised, so it comes as a surprise to read the following: “It is somewhat strange, that a class of men who can command such interesting, extensive, and instructive materials, as the experience of most members of the medical profession teems with, should have hitherto made so few contributions to the stock of polite and popular literature.”

The statement is made in the introduction to the 1835 edition that I possess of Samuel Warren’s Passages from the Diary of a Late Physician, first published in 1832. Warren (1807-77) was not actually a doctor, but he studied “physic” …

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