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February 1966

The Doctor of the Dance of Death

Author Affiliations

Calgary Associate Clinic Calgary, Alberta, Canada

Arch Intern Med. 1966;117(2):300-304. doi:10.1001/archinte.1966.03870080144024

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There HERE ARE three reasons for presenting the subject of this sketch. He is one of the large company of physicians who made his name by writing. He provides a means of looking at the eccentricities of genius, and also exploring some of the dark places of the human mind. His work abounds in little gems which, it must be confessed, have to be panned out, but which appeal to anyone interested in the power of words and the magic of poetry. His name is Thomas Lovell Beddoes, and he lived in the first half of the nineteenth century. He is now almost forgotten, although there are signs that he is coming out of critical retirement. We shall see, I hope, that he does not deserve this neglect.

Beddoes is one of the wayward figures of biography and literature. A man of great genius who at first was hailed as

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