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Contrasts in scientific style: research groups in the chemical and biochemical sciences

Medical History
Cambridge University Press
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  • Book Reviews
  • Anthropology
  • Literature


Book Reviews methodological shortcoming we now possess a compendium which provides useful insights into various anthropological concepts in the period between 1750 and 1850. Every scholar involved in the history of the life sciences to the beginning of the so-called scientific era will gratefully profit from the innumerable new historical insights in this book. Michael Hagner, Medical University of Lubeck JULES KOSKY, Mutual friends: Charles Dickens and Great Ormond Street Children's Hospital, London, Weidenfeld & Nicolson, 1989, 8vo, pp. x, 245, illus., £14.95. In 1909 "the editor of a standard edition of Dicken's collected works made the overwhelming claim that The Hospital for Sick Children was 'founded on a small scale over fifty years ago by Charles Dickens and a few others'." The narrative of this book firmly refutes the claim. It emerges that Dickens's part in founding the institution in Great Ormond Street was indirect. His journal, Household Words, published a sentimental article 'Drooping Buds' (co-written with Henry Morley) six weeks after the hospital opened on 16 February 1852. In February 1858 Dickens was the main speaker at a "Festival" to raise funds; a few months later he gave a benefit reading of A Christmas Carol for the hospital. Dickens described the Children's Hospital poignantly in Our Mutual Friend as the haven where Betty Higden's grandson Johnny finds refuge. This is all. Kosky's book primarily concerns the real founder of the Hospital, Charles West (1816-98). The task is not easy. There is no previous biography of West and there is a shortage of primary material about the origins of the Hospital (of which Kosky is Honorary Archivist). West was born the son of a small businessman and Baptist lay preacher. His childhood-unlike Dickens's-seems to have been serene. At St Bartholomew's West won prizes but since his father was a Baptist minister, he could not go on to Oxford. He studied instead for two years in Bonn and Paris, where he worked at the L'H6pital des Enfants

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