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December 27, 1971


JAMA. 1971;218(13):1948-1949. doi:10.1001/jama.1971.03190260062035

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John Rowan Wilson is a physician who has written several fine novels about doctors. His latest, entitled Barrington, concerns a doctor who founded a hospital in Africa. Although the book contains the usual disclaimer of any connection with persons living or dead, the dust jacket clearly states that the book deals with the life and legend of Albert Schweitzer.

In Wilson's novel, Barrington is portrayed as an Englishman of working-class origin who gave up medical research because of his sympathy for experimental animals. Since he could not find satisfactory professional opportunities in England, he went to Africa and founded a hospital resembling Lambaréné. He had little concern for his first wife, who died after a few years, presumably as the result of hardships and general dissatisfaction. He married again, but quarreled with his second wife and later separated from her. His only daughter was brought up by relatives in England