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June 12, 1967

Dr. Thomas Sydenham (1624-1689): His Life and Original Writings

Author Affiliations

Vancouver, British Columbia

JAMA. 1967;200(11):1005. doi:10.1001/jama.1967.03120240133048

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This excellent book is in two parts: 67 pages on Sydenham's life and times, followed by the extant writings of "The English Hippocrates" in their original English. Dr. Dewhurst has thus rescued for today's readers the great prose of Sydenham, free from the vagaries of the early translations into Latin and the retranslations back into English.

Now, in the compass of one wellprinted volume, the reader can find Sydenham's best: "De Arte Medica" (1669), "Anatomie" (1668), "Tussis," "Smallpox" (1669), "A Dysentery," "Febres Intercurrentes," "Pleurisie," "Of the Four Constitutions," and "Theologia Rationalis." Thus this is no mere volume about Sydenham; it is in fact Sydenham, at his best. In going back to original manuscript material the author has brought us into the very center of this great physician's thought. The inclusion of a chapter of Sydenham's correspondence—to John Locke, Robert Boyle, and others—is gratifying. This, together with the introductory chapters on