Views & Reviews Between the Lines

Frightening memoirs

BMJ 2011; 342 doi: http://dx.doi.org/10.1136/bmj.d1427 (Published 10 March 2011) Cite this as: BMJ 2011;342:d1427
  1. Theodore Dalrymple, writer and retired doctor

Mouldering on the shelves of many a secondhand bookshop, without much hope of ever being bought and even less of being read, are the essayistic reflections of doctors near or just after their retirement. They were a literary genre of the 1920s and ’30s, and they are generally a summary of what life taught their authors.

Of Dr Christopher Howard, who published his After Consulting Hours in 1930, I know nothing, except that I deduce from his qualifications and the fact that his preface was written from Harley Street that he was a general practitioner in that great street. His book was addressed to his fellow practitioners rather than to the general public, for it was published by William Heinemann Medical Books and contains quite a lot of technical advice. …

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