It is surprising how many distinguished medical people of the past had shadowy beginnings. Records may be sparse or nonexistent. Perhaps their childhood was obscure; sometimes their parentage was unknown or known very little; and often their education, so important in understanding a person, is not a matter of record. By one means or another people may achieve distinction. If their contributions have been superlative we wish we knew much more than we do about the forces which conspired to produce the results.
Osler's Linacre lecture of 1908 was published in a little book entitled Thomas Linacre. This is the second copy of it I have owned. The first was given to me by Myron Prinzmetal. Some unremembered or unremembering borrower has forgotten to return it, or some victim of exophthalmic bibliomania was unable to divest himself of it after he pocketed it while I was not looking and made
Bean WB. Thomas Linacre.. Arch Intern Med. 1964;113(6):893–894. doi:10.1001/archinte.1964.00280120093018
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