[Skip to Content]
[Skip to Content Landing]
September 23, 1974

The Life and Times of Thomas Wakley

Author Affiliations

American Medical Association Chicago


by S. Squire Sprigge (facsimile of 1899 ed), 509 pp, Robert E. Krieger Publishing Co (Box 542, Huntington, NY 11743), 1974.

JAMA. 1974;229(13):1808. doi:10.1001/jama.1974.03230510076041

This article is only available in the PDF format. Download the PDF to view the article, as well as its associated figures and tables.


All physicians, and a great many laymen, know The Lancet as one of the world's great medical journals. However, the man who founded The Lancet—and did much else to further the cause of medicine—is not well known. Thomas Wakley (1795-1862) achieved considerable fame in his lifetime as editor, reformer, politician, and coroner. Almost constantly he was challenging the status quo, and almost constantly he was embroiled in controversy. A generation after his death, in 1897, S. Squire Sprigge published a biography that had considerable vogue but soon went out of print. More recently, the book has become much sought after. Now a new facsimile edition makes available a major document for the study of 19th century medicine as well as the biography of a brave and able physician. Charles Roland furnishes a new 12-page introduction for this reprint edition.

The book illuminates the medical world of the mid-19th century