Tag Archives: Jonathan Swift

John Arbuthnot: physician, wit, and creator of John Bull

JMS Pearce Hull, England, United Kingdom   Fig 1. Portrait of Arbuthnot on reprint of John Bull In the light of recent British parliamentary chaos, by chance I discovered this irresistible quotation: “All political parties die at last of swallowing their own lies” -John Arbuthnot At a time when in most westernized countries physicians and […]

The X Club

JMS Pearce Hull, England, United Kingdom   Fig. 1 TH Huxley Wikipedia: This work is in the public domain Charles Babbage, who conceived the first automatic digital computer, published in 1830 Reflections on the Decline of Science in England. This stimulated the formation of several new groups that aimed to further scientific progress and exchange […]

The legacy and maladies of Jonathan Swift

JMS Pearce England, UK   Fig 1. Jonathan Swift Jonathan Swift (Fig 1.) is best known for his popular Lemuel Gulliver’s: Travels into Several Remote Nations of the World published in 1726. (Fig 2.) Exciting adventures combine with satirical metaphors that parodied contemporary customs and politics. Lemuel Gulliver, the narrator, begins as a modern man […]

Longitudinal lunacy: Science and madness in the eighteenth century

Richard de Grijs Sydney, Australia Daniel Vuillermin Beijing, China   Interior of Bethlem Royal Hospital, from A Rake’s Progress by William Hogarth. The poor soul in the background is trying to solve the longitude problem. “A couple of young Non conformist preachers from Worksop in the North of Derbyshire came thither to have my approbation […]

The unloved gut

Fergus Shanahan, MD University College Cork, Ireland   “My brain, it’s my second favorite organ” pronounced Woody Allen.1 For many, it is the seat of the soul, the source of creativity and much more, whereas the heart represents passion, courage, and character. Fondness for other organs relates to warmth and honesty in the eyes, clarity […]

St. Patrick’s Hospital: a legacy of Jonathan Swift

Linda S. Slusser Wellington, Ohio   Jonathan Swift by Charles Jervas 1718 Today, St. Patrick’s Hospital in Dublin, known for the innovative care of its patients provides “Ireland’s largest, independent, not-for-profit mental health services.”1  When founded in 1745 by the bequest of Jonathan Swift, it  was the first psychiatric hospital to be built in Ireland […]