Views & Reviews Between the Lines

Malice, intention, patience, and resource

BMJ 2011; 342 doi: (Published 23 February 2011) Cite this as: BMJ 2011;342:d1100
  1. Theodore Dalrymple, writer and retired doctor

There was a time when doctors wrote their memoirs and the public bought them. Whether doctors were better writers in those days or the public had fewer amusements to choose from I cannot say; but Halliday Sutherland’s memoir, The Arches of the Years, published in 1933, was reprinted in Britain at least 34 times and was translated into eight European languages.

Sutherland (1882-1960) was an interesting figure. He spent most of his professional life working on the prevention of tuberculosis, and he wrote books on the subject. He made the first health education film in Britain. He became a firm Catholic and wrote pamphlets against artificial contraception. In 1923 he …

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