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January 1979

Charles Dickens and the Ear, Nose, and Throat

Author Affiliations

From the Department of Ear, Nose, and Throat, North Staffordshire Royal Infirmary, Stoke-on-Trent, England. Dr Pahor is now with Dudley Road and Hallam Hospitals, Birmingham, England.

Arch Otolaryngol. 1979;105(1):1-5. doi:10.1001/archotol.1979.00790130005001

• Charles Dickens is known as a novelist, humorist, humanist, and a social reformist. One of his many abilities was an astute power of observation, and some of his writings included descriptions considered as original medical knowledge. Among the hundreds of characters portrayed by Dickens, many had depictions or diseases of interest to the otolaryngologist.

Dickens described deaf children and was interested in the methods used in their teaching. He had a keen interest in children and their welfare and described his visits to the Childrens Hospital in London and to Parkins Institute at Boston. He described both temporary and permanent deafness following exposure to loud noise. Dickens was a medical critic and most of his writings on the subject were humorous, though mixed at times with a spicy element of satire.

(Arch Otolaryngol 105:1-5, 1979)