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Conan Doyle's Tales of Medical Humanism and Values: Round the Red Lamp: Being Facts and Fancies of Medical Life, with Other Medical Short Stories

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This text contains commentary and notes for an additional six of Conan Doyle's medical short stories, as well as an address he presented to medical students in 1910. Included in these literary vignettes are three Sherlock Holmes stories that are primarily medical in orientation. This text contains commentary and notes for an additional six of Conan Doyle's medical short stories, as well as an address he presented to medical students in 1910. Included in these literary vignettes are three Sherlock Holmes stories that are primarily medical in orientation.


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This text contains commentary and notes for an additional six of Conan Doyle's medical short stories, as well as an address he presented to medical students in 1910. Included in these literary vignettes are three Sherlock Holmes stories that are primarily medical in orientation. This text contains commentary and notes for an additional six of Conan Doyle's medical short stories, as well as an address he presented to medical students in 1910. Included in these literary vignettes are three Sherlock Holmes stories that are primarily medical in orientation.

30 review for Conan Doyle's Tales of Medical Humanism and Values: Round the Red Lamp: Being Facts and Fancies of Medical Life, with Other Medical Short Stories

  1. 5 out of 5

    Metaphorosis

    I know Conan Doyle almost entirely from Sherlock Holmes and Professor Challenger. I like those stories a lot, and I downloaded some other books to try when I had a free moment. Round the Red Lamp is a collection of loosely medical themed stories - mostly about doctors in one way or another. One or two falls in science fiction or adventure category, but most are straightforward fiction. I was surprised by how good these stories are. Sherlock Holmes is fun, but the stories are usually more clever th I know Conan Doyle almost entirely from Sherlock Holmes and Professor Challenger. I like those stories a lot, and I downloaded some other books to try when I had a free moment. Round the Red Lamp is a collection of loosely medical themed stories - mostly about doctors in one way or another. One or two falls in science fiction or adventure category, but most are straightforward fiction. I was surprised by how good these stories are. Sherlock Holmes is fun, but the stories are usually more clever than touching. The closest we usually get to emotion there is perhaps Irene Adler in "A Scandal in Bohemia", or Dr. Watson's expostulations (and background romance). Here, we have something completely different. While I like the more fantastic stories toward the end of the book, it's the stories that open the book that really hit home. They're small, but intensely moving. After reading this set, it's clear that I have not given Conan Doyle enough credit for writing skill. While not all of the stories here are excellent, they're all good, and mostly very good. I'll definitely be looking for more of his non-adventure work. Overall, a surprising and very welcome look at Conan Doyle's more literary side. If you're a fan, pick this up. If you're just looking for touching stories, pick this up. If you like stories about doctors, pick this up. It's free, and you won't be sorry. Strongly recommended.

  2. 4 out of 5

    Dorothea

    I read the text of this book from Project Gutenberg. There seems to be a newer reprint that includes commentary and some other medical fiction and non-fiction by Conan Doyle -- I would be very interested to read that, but I'm not reviewing it here. I hadn't read anything by ACD before this except the Sherlock Holmes stories and The Lost World. However, Russell Miller's biography of Conan Doyle made me interested in one of the stories, "The Doctors of Hoyland," and I ended up reading the whole col I read the text of this book from Project Gutenberg. There seems to be a newer reprint that includes commentary and some other medical fiction and non-fiction by Conan Doyle -- I would be very interested to read that, but I'm not reviewing it here. I hadn't read anything by ACD before this except the Sherlock Holmes stories and The Lost World. However, Russell Miller's biography of Conan Doyle made me interested in one of the stories, "The Doctors of Hoyland," and I ended up reading the whole collection. It has great personal appeal to me because I love shop talk and fiction that draws upon the author's professional knowledge. I was also charmed by the preface, which seems to be written to the critics whom Conan Doyle correctly predicted would be disgusted by some of the medical details in the stories, and which acts as a sort of Victorian trigger warning. It explains why those gory details can be important to literature, and ends by saying that Conan Doyle had deliberately not published the stories in magazines lest anyone read them by mistake and be pained, but "in book-form the reader can see that they are medical stories, and can, if he or she be so minded, avoid them." Behind the Times: A sweet reflection on an old doctor, by a young doctor who as a child was the old doctor's patient. The young doctor doesn't give his own name, so when at the very end he says something about his housekeeper Mrs. Hudson, I naturally concluded that this is a secret non-Holmes non-mystery story belonging to Dr. Watson! His First Operation: This is one of the ones to avoid if you're squeamish, as it's a very effective description of the squeamishness of a medical student about to witness surgery for the first time. However, it's also very funny! A Straggler of '15: That is, the battle of Waterloo in 1815. The story is set in 1881 and the straggler is the last surviving veteran of his regiment. It's about how dying of old age is a miserable experience. The veteran has a good young relative to take care of him and is cheered up by visiting soldiers who look up to him. I think that in the hands of many other authors, these facts would have turned the story into a sentimental reflection on how paying attention to elderly people makes their lives happy, but Conan Doyle avoids this. It's not a sentimental or cheering story, but it felt right to me. The Third Generation: An awkward story about a young man's sad discovery that he has congenital syphilis. A False Start: I know from Russell Miller's biography that this funny story is based on Conan Doyle's own mishaps in setting up his first practice and hoping that patients will show up. The first one to knock on the door turns out not to be a patient at all, but a bill collector... The Curse of Eve: Which is painful childbirth. This story observes an ordinary man whose wife is having a baby. It is less grim than "A Straggler of '15" but still, I think, avoids sentimentality (though somewhat narrowly at points). Sweethearts: Another story about aging -- this one distinctly sentimental. A Physiologist's Wife: This story isn't about practicing medicine, but about the personality of one of its characters, a medical researcher. He is excessively scientific about everything, which is played for laughs but is also his fatal flaw, as the story is about his romance. The Case of Lady Sannox: A crime story in which one of the parties is a doctor. This one has another gruesome passage which people who skipped "His First Operation" should also avoid. A Question of Diplomacy: Wherein a diplomat's wife enacts a sneaky plan with the unwitting assistance of the family's doctor. This story is funny, but a bit irritating in light of Conan Doyle's views on women's suffrage -- it reads as a smug confirmation that men use their brains for national politics and women use their equally good brains for family politics, and that's all for the best. A Medical Document: Not a story but a series of anecdotes structured as a conversation among doctors, with some commentary on how medical shop talk can be very interesting. Lot No. 249: I hated this story but wouldn't be surprised to know it was the most popular of the collection. It's not medical at all; the protagonist is a medical student, but that doesn't really matter, as he doesn't use much medical skill in discovering that one of his fellow students (an Orientalist, of course) is using evil "Eastern" magic on his sinister collection of "Eastern" artifacts. Bleargh. The Los Amigos Fiasco: Weakly amusing, but again not a medical story -- it's just bad science fiction. The doctor in a town in the U.S. West narrates the discovery that more electricity is not necessarily more effective. Generally I would agree with this principle, but in this case the use of the electricity is in an electric chair execution... to publish this story here seems to draw unnecessary attention to its embarrassingly bad biology. The Doctors of Hoyland: The new doctor of Hoyland is -- a woman!! This is the story of how the original doctor of Hoyland got over his disapproval. It is very funny at the sexist doctor's expense, but careful reading indicates certain limits on the acceptability of women doctors. The Surgeon Talks: Some final thoughts on what doctors learn about human nature.

  3. 5 out of 5

    Victoria Pinto Rivas

    Una interesante colección que nos muestra el ejercicio de la medicina a través de su autor, quien fue médico de profesión. Un deleite para aquellos que sienten curiosidad sobre este y otros temas relacionados con la época victoriana.

  4. 5 out of 5

    Saverio Mariani

    Quattro racconti di Arthur Conan Doyle, senza Sherlock Holmes, e tutt'altro che investigativi o "polizieschi". Quattro racconti sulla grande passione di Conan Doyle, la medicina. Le storie di uomini che cercano di rimanere se stessi e troppe volte vengono investiti dagli eventi esterni. Si erano preparati, cercavano tutti un modo per governare gli eventi, ma non si è mai pronti. A quanto pare. Quattro racconti di Arthur Conan Doyle, senza Sherlock Holmes, e tutt'altro che investigativi o "polizieschi". Quattro racconti sulla grande passione di Conan Doyle, la medicina. Le storie di uomini che cercano di rimanere se stessi e troppe volte vengono investiti dagli eventi esterni. Si erano preparati, cercavano tutti un modo per governare gli eventi, ma non si è mai pronti. A quanto pare.

  5. 5 out of 5

    Herman Gigglethorpe

    The Valancourt Books summary for this book suggests that these stories are macabre thrillers, but that's not really true. Most aren't memorable, but there are a few that stand out. "A Physiologist's Wife" is a tale of secret bigamy and how a misogynistic professor falls in love. The professor's attempts at "compliments" end up like this: "No, Ada; in many respects you approach the superior or male type", or "You have a remarkable range of knowledge for a woman, Jeannette." By the end of the story The Valancourt Books summary for this book suggests that these stories are macabre thrillers, but that's not really true. Most aren't memorable, but there are a few that stand out. "A Physiologist's Wife" is a tale of secret bigamy and how a misogynistic professor falls in love. The professor's attempts at "compliments" end up like this: "No, Ada; in many respects you approach the superior or male type", or "You have a remarkable range of knowledge for a woman, Jeannette." By the end of the story, the unlikable professor dies of a broken heart, no matter how much he blathers on about protoplasm. Doyle's views on gender don't seem to match the annoying professor's, even if they would fall short of today's standards. A similar sort of man in "The Doctors of Hoyland" is mocked with the following quote by the narrator: "He could not recall any Biblical injunction that the man should remain ever the doctor and the woman the nurse, and yet he felt as if a blasphemy had been committed". The female Dr. Verrinder believes her career is more important than marriage, and she's not portrayed as a villain like she might have been in other Victorian novels. There's some humor about Gothic and other melodramatic literature in "A Medical Document". The Homo Gothicus species of human was already facing extinction by this time, as you'll see in the following quotes: "Then there is the mysterious malady called brain fever, which always attacks the heroine after a crisis, but which is unknown under that name to the text books. People when they are over-excited in novels fall down in a fit. In a fairly large experience I have never known anyone do so in real life". Lot No. 249 has a good old-fashioned evil mummy. The funny part occurs when the hero is threatening to kill the sneering Egyptologist if he doesn't destroy the mummy: "You would murder me?' Bellingham had half risen, and his face was the colour of putty. 'Yes'. 'And for what'? 'To stop your mischief. One minute has gone". This part goes on for a while. It wouldn't be a good Victorian story without sneering, and Conan Doyle meets his quota here. Read this collection if you want something a little different, but don't expect anything on par with Sherlock Holmes.

  6. 5 out of 5

    Morganta

    В издании, что мне попалось, этот сборник шёл вместе со сборником про Холмса. Хороший ход — иначе бы я его и вряд ли прочитала, и вряд ли бы дочитала, случись мне в силу каких-то иных обстоятельств его открыть. Все рассказы сборника так или иначе включают врачей. Большая часть незамысловата и сентиментальна, два забавны, один мрачностью своего сюжета словно пытается компенсировать всех остальных (но у него не получается; антагонист мерзок сам по себе, а на фоне всех рассказов про Холмса, где злод В издании, что мне попалось, этот сборник шёл вместе со сборником про Холмса. Хороший ход — иначе бы я его и вряд ли прочитала, и вряд ли бы дочитала, случись мне в силу каких-то иных обстоятельств его открыть. Все рассказы сборника так или иначе включают врачей. Большая часть незамысловата и сентиментальна, два забавны, один мрачностью своего сюжета словно пытается компенсировать всех остальных (но у него не получается; антагонист мерзок сам по себе, а на фоне всех рассказов про Холмса, где злодеи могут и не получить наказания, но всегда получат осуждение — вдвойне), ещё два касаются проблем положения в обществе. И на этом я бы осталась пусть не довольна, но удовлетворена прочитанным, но дальше появились два рассказа, очень косвенно связаны с медициной (в сборнике про врачей, что отдельно указано в авторском предисловии), с реальностью (в сборнике про врачей) и, к сожалению, с хорошими рассказами в целом. Пожалуй, я всё же не очень хочу знать Дойла вне Шерлокианы.

  7. 5 out of 5

    Dani

    4/5 stars A completely underrated collection of short medical tales: ranging from reanimated mummies to mutilations to syphilis. Doyle is great and I highly recommend for good Victorian ficiton.

  8. 4 out of 5

    Beatrice

    Purtroppo mi è sfuggito il senso della metà dei racconti

  9. 4 out of 5

    Michela Chiarlo

    Conan Doyle è stato uno scrittore molto prolifico e ha spaziato nei generi prima di approdare allo Sherlock Holmes che l'ha reso celebre. Essendo medico ha spesso raccontato anche di medicina, come protagonista, come spunto o come semplice comparsa dei racconti. Questa raccolta mette insieme alcuni racconti aventi per protagonisti i medici e la medicina. La lampada rossa del titolo è ciò che dalla finestra indicava, nella Londra vittoriana, la presenza di un medico in casa. Conan Doyle è stato uno scrittore molto prolifico e ha spaziato nei generi prima di approdare allo Sherlock Holmes che l'ha reso celebre. Essendo medico ha spesso raccontato anche di medicina, come protagonista, come spunto o come semplice comparsa dei racconti. Questa raccolta mette insieme alcuni racconti aventi per protagonisti i medici e la medicina. La lampada rossa del titolo è ciò che dalla finestra indicava, nella Londra vittoriana, la presenza di un medico in casa.

  10. 4 out of 5

    Anina

    Altra raccolta dei racconti “medici” di Conan Doyle. Combinazione domenica, con il Sole, è uscita una raccoltina di 4 brani. La lampada rossa era, nell’epoca vittoriana, identificativa dell’ambulatorio di un medico. Attività di cui Conan Doyle continuò ad interessarsi, nonostante la scrittura. E anche nei suoi romanzi e racconti “gialli” Holmes ne rappresenta lo spirito ricercatore e diagnostico (Dr House?), Watson la prassi operativa. Qui ci sono ovviamente medici qualsiasi e i loro incontri con Altra raccolta dei racconti “medici” di Conan Doyle. Combinazione domenica, con il Sole, è uscita una raccoltina di 4 brani. La lampada rossa era, nell’epoca vittoriana, identificativa dell’ambulatorio di un medico. Attività di cui Conan Doyle continuò ad interessarsi, nonostante la scrittura. E anche nei suoi romanzi e racconti “gialli” Holmes ne rappresenta lo spirito ricercatore e diagnostico (Dr House?), Watson la prassi operativa. Qui ci sono ovviamente medici qualsiasi e i loro incontri con ogni tipo di persone e di problemi. Nel racconto d’apertura uno studente affronta la sua prima operazione, penso nello stesso modo di molti studenti d’oggi. Un giovane medico con una serie di sfortunate esperienze, che alla prima vera occasione, rinfresca la sua etica facendo così, finalmente, fortuna. Un primo parto, visto però dalla parte del padre, anzi udito, perché la paura affina i sensi. Un uomo condannato da un male ereditato dal nonno schiavo di tutti i vizi, che posto di fronte alla nuda verità medica deve compiere una scelta. Un luminare, sposato alla scienza medica, decide di sposarsi una donna ma il destino gli gioca uno scherzo terribile. Un medico coinvolto in un adulterio è il protagonista del racconto più nero. Ed ancora un’esecuzione capitale che farà bene alla salute del condannato, una moglie “diplomatica” che manovrerà dottore e marito (nientemeno che Ministro degli Esteri) come pedine del suo gioco di madre, la prima dottoressa della contea dell’Hampshire. C’è ironia, un’Inghilterra scomparsa (ma è quella che amiamo ritrovare), anche tenerezza talvolta. E un pizzico di horror.

  11. 4 out of 5

    Paolo

    Il racconto "Falsa partenza" è uno dei nove racconti medici della raccolta "La lampada rossa", pubblicata nel 1894. Il racconto si apre con il dottor Horace Wilkinson che apre la porta del suo studio medico al primo paziente, ma... Non sempre le prime impressioni sono quelle giuste! La narrazione brillante e ironica ci accompagna per la prima metà del racconto, disegnando efficacemente il personaggio principale nei suoi gesti e nei suoi pensieri. Nella seconda metà però il racconto perde slancio e Il racconto "Falsa partenza" è uno dei nove racconti medici della raccolta "La lampada rossa", pubblicata nel 1894. Il racconto si apre con il dottor Horace Wilkinson che apre la porta del suo studio medico al primo paziente, ma... Non sempre le prime impressioni sono quelle giuste! La narrazione brillante e ironica ci accompagna per la prima metà del racconto, disegnando efficacemente il personaggio principale nei suoi gesti e nei suoi pensieri. Nella seconda metà però il racconto perde slancio e si appiattisce per approdare ad un finale davvero poco incisivo.

  12. 4 out of 5

    Joe

    This is a little know collection of short stories related to the practice on medicine published in the 1880's. I read it as a Project Gutenburg eBook. Some of the stories are good; some are quite bad and even boring. My favorites were: "A Straggler of '15", "A Physiologists Wife", "Tha Case of Lady Sannox", "Lot Number 249", and my favorite, "The Doctors of Hoyland". I recommend the book but with some reservations. This is a little know collection of short stories related to the practice on medicine published in the 1880's. I read it as a Project Gutenburg eBook. Some of the stories are good; some are quite bad and even boring. My favorites were: "A Straggler of '15", "A Physiologists Wife", "Tha Case of Lady Sannox", "Lot Number 249", and my favorite, "The Doctors of Hoyland". I recommend the book but with some reservations.

  13. 5 out of 5

    Amara Thornton

    have read only lot no. 249 - intriguing story of a mad student in oxford and an ambulatory mummy.

  14. 4 out of 5

    Theut

    Carino, ottimo per un viaggio in treno.

  15. 4 out of 5

    Viktoriia Lastovets

    Поучительные истории. Со смыслом.

  16. 4 out of 5

    Anne Dykema

    Some of the short stories were rather boring.

  17. 5 out of 5

    Marts (Thinker)

    A series of short stories by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle

  18. 5 out of 5

    Christopher Gage

  19. 4 out of 5

    paol_uh

  20. 4 out of 5

    Zharel Anger

  21. 5 out of 5

    Sandra

  22. 4 out of 5

    Irina Cebanu

  23. 4 out of 5

    Ronald Broun

  24. 5 out of 5

    Georgina Gale

  25. 5 out of 5

    Allison

  26. 4 out of 5

    liz h

  27. 5 out of 5

    Christopher Roden

  28. 5 out of 5

    Bieiris

  29. 4 out of 5

    Albert

  30. 4 out of 5

    Kira

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