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October 1959

Men and Books: Sir William Osler.

AMA Arch Intern Med. 1959;104(4):673. doi:10.1001/archinte.1959.00270100159028

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While Osler was Regius Professor of Medicine at Oxford, in 1912, he was prevailed upon by his friend, Dr. Andres McPhail, the recently appointed editor of the Canadian Medical Association Journal for some "thunder." At fairly regular intervals for three years, until World War I began, the "books and men snippets," as Osier called his thunder, illuminated the pages of the journal. Osler's wide-ranging fancy included such diverse essays as "The Funeral of Lord Lister," "Two Frenchmen on Laughter," "Dr. Slop," and "John Shaw Billings." In each essay, there is some characteristic turn which adds to the charm. Some years ago, I obtained back copies of the Journal and had these biographical essays bound for my personal use. Now the entire group has been collected in a single volume, which all Osler devotees should get hold of if they can. The volume, edited by Dr. Nation, was privately printed at

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