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January 1998

In Memoriam—Macdonald Critchley, MD

Arch Neurol. 1998;55(1):122. doi:10.1001/archneur.55.1.122

Macdonald Critchley, MD, died on October 15, 1997, at age 97 years. He was an internationally known neurologist who was an enthralling lecturer and captivating writer. He was a bridge between the great British tradition of neurology, with representatives Walshe, Holmes, and Symonds, and the present.

He was educated in Bristol and received his medical degree there. His professional life was spent in London at the National Hospital, Queen Square and at King's College Hospital. His interests were wide ranging, but his concentration was in higher brain functions. He pointed out many of the features of childhood dyslexia and received the Samuel Orton Award for his contributions. His book on the parietal lobes continues to be the ultimate reference on that subject. He had a great interest in history and wrote about the medical aspects of shipwreck, the Black Hole of Calcutta, the stroke of Samuel Johnson, and others. He recently completed a biography of Hughlings Jackson, whom he greatly admired. His concinnity in writing was only equaled by his eloquence in speaking. His various essays were assembled by him in 3 books: The Divine Banquet of the Brain, The Citadel of the Senses, and The Ventricle of Memory. They are a delight to read and are filled with the common and the arcane of neurology.