Views & Reviews Medical Classics

La Bohème

BMJ 2008; 337 doi: (Published 29 October 2008) Cite this as: BMJ 2008;337:a2282
  1. Trisha Greenhalgh, professor of primary health care, London
  1. p.greenhalgh{at}

    Paris, Christmas Eve. A bohemian trio of philosopher, artist, and writer (Rodolfo) are shivering hungrily in their garret flat, burning the pages of a play to keep warm. They come across some money. The philosopher and artist go off in search of food, drink, and bonhomie. The writer says he will follow. Enter Mimi, a beautiful but consumptive seamstress whose candle has gone out. The writer is immediately smitten and is soon exchanging arias with his lovely but frail neighbour.

    Mimi moves in with Rodolfo briefly, but the couple quickly splits. His possessive jealousy is, apparently, incompatible with Mimi’s coquettish behaviour towards other suitors. But …

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