Friday, May 22, 2009

Arthur Conan Doyle's dissertation.

The post on In Reference to Murder regarding the exhibition on Arthur Conan Doyle and Joseph Bell at the Royal College of Surgeons of Edinburgh reminded me that Conan Doyle's 1885 dissertation for the University of Edinburgh, "An Essay upon the Vasomotor Changes in Tabes Dorsalis," is available online. It deals with syphilis (which also appears as a theme in the Conan Doyle short story "The Third Generation" in Round the Red Lamp, 1894). Conan Doyle writes, "It is with diffidence that a young medical man must approach a subject upon which so many master minds have pondered—more particularly when the views which he entertains differ in many respects from any which he has encountered in his reading" (3–4).

(Hat tip to Maria Cairney, "The Healing Art of Detection: Sherlock Holmes and the Disease of Crime in the Strand Magazine," Clues: A Journal of Detection 26.1 [2008]: 62–74. About the photo: Arthur Conan Doyle, date unknown. Library of Congress, Prints and Photographs Division.)

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