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June 15, 1984

A Letter From Joseph Lister to Dr David Walsh

Author Affiliations

From the Bowman Gray Medical School of Wake Forest, Winston-Salem, NC, the Department of Surgery-Urology, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, and the Danville Urologic Clinic, Danville, Va (Dr Landes); and the College of William and Mary, Williamsburg, Va (Mr Hall).

JAMA. 1984;251(23):3101-3103. doi:10.1001/jama.1984.03340470027020

THE GIFT of a previously unpublished letter (Fig 1) written by Joseph Baron Lister to a "Dr Walsh" dated April 12, 1897, prompted us to investigate the identity of the addressee and the circumstances alluded to in its contents.

The letter is written on the black-bordered stationery customarily used by Lister following the death of Lady Lister in 1893. His London address, in bold print at the top of the page, is circled. The address of his country house, High Cliff, at Lyme Regis in Dorset on England's south coast is written in, indicating that the letter was written there. At this time Lister had reached the age of 70 years. He had retired from practice but remained extremely active in public affairs. He often sought refuge and rest from his demanding schedule at his beloved High Cliff.

This short and courteous but blunt letter was obviously in response to