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February 4, 1961


JAMA. 1961;175(5):398-399. doi:10.1001/jama.1961.03040050054019

The composition by a physician of an historical novel whose principal character is a physician is an infrequent experience. Frank Slaughter's story of St. Luke is a notable example. Wilder Penfield's enrollment in this exclusive club has just been announced.1The Torch, a story of Hippocrates in ancient Greece 25 centuries ago, has been expertly told by the eminent neurosurgeon from McGill University. Penfield's formal education at the Universities of Princeton, Oxford, and Johns Hopkins, with the proper emphasis on the humanities and the classics, was strengthened by diligent historical research of ancient Greece. The investigations began in 1954 and were concluded by the publication of the book in recent weeks. Historians, archeologists, and other scholars were consulted. The author visited Greece and Asia Minor on two sabbaticals, not only to obtain firsthand information but to become so imbued with Greek philosophy and the Greek view of life as

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