Bio of Charles Bell, M. D.?

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Reading some military history the other day, I discovered a passing mention that a number of physicians rushed to Belgium immediately after the Battle of Waterloo to treat the British wounded. They were led by Charles Bell -- "our" Chas. Bell, I assume, by it being the right sort of date, of the Bell-Magendie Law. In the interests of putting a little colour on early 19th century physiology, can you recommend an electronic or printed biography of Bell? -David

-- David likely (likely@unb.ca), September 24, 2001

Answers

[Posted for AEL by cdg.]

The standard biography, though quite hagiographic is:

Gordon-Taylor, Sir Gordon. Sir Charles Bell, his Life and Times. E & S Livingston Ltd.; Edinburgh and London, 1948. 288 pp.

[Malcolm Kottler (Scientiabk@aol.com) later corrected this date to 1958.]

You might checkout: Cranefield, P. F.: The Way in and the Way Out. New York. Futura, 1974. This has a more objective view of Bell and the Bell-Magendie controversy.

There is a short bio essay in Founders of Neurology as well.

-- Arthur E. Lyons (artlyons@pacbell.net), September 28, 2001.


[Posted for RAJ by cdg.]

In addition to Art's good (and fast!) recommendations (which the reader should request by Interlibrary Loan if his/her library does not hold the titles), a quick yet extensive biography may be had in the _Dictionary of National Biography_, v. 2, p. p. 154-157.

The Wellcome did one of their "public interest" exhibitions last year on Charles Bell. A blurb for "A Surgeonís Art - Charles Bell and surgery in the Napoleonic period" may be found at: http://www.wellcome.ac.uk/en/1/misexhlib00n3.html

To contact the archivists who created this exhibit: Annie Lindsay - a.lindsay@wellcome.ac.uk Helen Wakely - h.wakely@wellcome.ac.uk

-- Russell A. Johnson (rjohnson@library.ucla.edu), September 28, 2001.


[Posted for MM by cdg.]

If he hasn't replied, I suggest you also check directly with Nick Wade . I can't recommend Cranefield highly enough on the Bell v. Magendie controversy. Whatever his other claims, Bell was a complete scoundrel over that, one who stooped to what amounts to forgery in the republication of his earlier work.

-- Malcolm Macmillan (macadab@deakin.edu.au), September 28, 2001.


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