by Dr Jennings
The men (and a few women) who walk the stage in this book are fairly representative of humanity. Some stood on their individual mounds of high ground and were prominent, but most were obscure. They pass quickly like the parade of Banquo's spirits: the long-lived, and those whose promising lives were cruelly cut short by disease or misadventure: those with lengthy years of practice and service, and the transient and forgotten. Over many hovers the spectres of tuberculosis, alcoholism, addiction, accident and violent death. Their origins are fascinating. Most were English, Scottish or Irish, but there are Americans too. An important group came from Germany and reflects the abhorrence of the efforts of Frederick William III to venture into ecclesiastical bigotry. And of course we still can’t keep the Irish out.
Like all the other books it is long out of print and I’m told that the State Library copies have been pinched.
This is out of print. Even if you don’t want to read it, the photos are interesting. The National Railway Museum might have a few copies.
The SA medical profession, predominantly white Anglo-Saxon Protestant male, profoundly conservative and misogynic, had an astonishing ability to marry into prominent families with wealth, land and sound blood lines and to acquire prestige and status. In the process many of its members became inter-related by marriage. Many were people of great personal accomplishment and versatility, but their numbers also included scoundrels, pompous humbugs, entrepreneurs, cowboys and incompetents. (They are still with us, of course). Many of the most colourful and interesting were either unqualified or unregistered and they play an important part in SA medical history.
The book was accepted for publication by a university but arguments over the author’s rude criticisms of medical saints has left him with the manuscript which he intends putting on the web.
It is now being published serially. To access the book up to chapter 3 click here.
The rest of the book will be added to the site as it becomes ready.
Yes – we are on