Tag Archives: Winter 2012

Literary Quiz – #2 answers

William Boyd: The Pathology of Internal Diseases James A. Michener: Iberia Ernest Hemingway: For Whom the Bell Tolls Aristotle: Metaphysics Xenophon: Anabasis Virginia Woolf: Night and Day William Faulkner: Sanctuary Winston Churchill: The Second World War Stephen Crane: The Red Badge of Courage Ernest Hemingway: The Old Man and the Sea

Literary Quiz – #2

FIRST SENTENCES OF GREAT CLASSICS TEST YOUR KNOWLEDGE! Of all the ailments that may blow out life’s little candle, heart disease is the chief. I have long believed that any man interested in either the mystic or the romantic aspects of life must sooner or later define his attitude concerning Spain. He lay flat on […]

Psychosocial – Hospice House

Jim Gustafson, MDiv       Fort Myers, Florida, USA Poet’s statement: “Hospice House” reflects on a time recently spent in the lobby of our local hospice facility, as I visited with a good friend named Wilma. “Psychosocial” reflects on the most recent events of Wilma’s life as she, who very much hates to fly, flew to visit […]

There is an elephant in the room

David Valentine Rochester, New York, United States   “I’ve lost my erector spinae,” my husband said to me. “They make pills for that now,” I told him. “No, not that,” he said. “Here.” He pointed at his back. It looked more floppy than usual, but only a little. “See? My back muscles went away.” I […]

Religio Medici by Sir Thomas Browne

“Were I of Caesar’s Religion, I should be of his desires, and wish rather to go off at one blow, than to be sawed in pieces by the grating torture of a disease. Men that look no further than their outsides, think health an appurtenance unto life, and quarrel with their constitutions for being sick; […]

The fatal illness of Prince Albert

Prince Albert of Saxe-Coburg-Gotha, 1842 Franz Xaver Winterhalter Prince Albert of Saxe-Coburg-Gotha, husband and prince consort of Queen Victoria, died on December 14, 1861, leaving his adoring wife in such a state of dejection that she avoided public appearances for years and wore black for the rest of her life. Statues erected in various cities […]

The last days of George Washington

Life of George Washington – the Christian death, ca. 1853 Junius Brutus Stearns Library of Congress When George Washington developed laryngitis and shortness of breath in 1799, his doctors used poultices, enemas, and opened his veins to remove almost half of all his blood in 12 hours. Shown on his deathbed in a painting recently […]

William Pitt: father and son

Punch cures the gout, the colic, and the ‘tisick, 1799 James Gillray Two great political figures, William Pitt the Elder (later to become Lord Chatham) and William Pitt the Younger, shaped the destinies of Great Britain during the second half of the eighteenth century. The father was the main architect of England’s victory in the Seven […]

Mozart, Mesmer and medicine

James L. Franklin   Paper given at the Chicago Literary Club on February 16, 2004 As a physician, I have long been interested in representations of medical topics in literature, art and music. Examples quickly come to mind: the world of the tuberculosis sanatorium in “The Magic Mountain” of Thomas Mann or an epidemic in […]

Mahler at 100: a medical history

Salvatore Mangione Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, United States   The year 2011 marks the 100th anniversary of the death of Gustav Mahler, the man who, more than anyone else, heralded the advent of a new musical century. Mahler died from subacute bacterial endocarditis, which, while relatively unknown in 1911, has claimed the lives of many famous people […]