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July 1962

Medicine and the Navy—Volume III 1714-1815

Arch Intern Med. 1962;110(1):130-132. doi:10.1001/archinte.1962.03620190132023

I was brought up near the sea. Gravesend, in England, lies at the mouth of the Thames, which remains one of the world's busiest sea lanes even though the materialistic sun is setting on the British Empire. My home town had a schizophrenic quality. The riverside area had the dirty ugliness yet heady invigoration which characterizes most shipping towns. The business district, however, had the elegance of the regency and the air of having been drawn by Cruickshank and populated by Dickens, who lived his later years 4 miles away in Gads Hill House, a fine example of Victorian architecture which has a subterranean passage leading to a walled garden where he is reputed to have done much of his writing. Gads Hill House has now fallen to its final indignity and is a private school for girls. All this part of Kent is full of Dickens—from Rotherhithe where Bill

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