Chapter

Life outside work

Ann Scott, Mervyn Eadie and Andrew Lees

in William Richard Gowers 1845-1915

Published on behalf of Oxford University Press

Published in print August 2012 | ISBN: 9780199692316
Published online November 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780191753527 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/med/9780199692316.003.0009
Life outside work

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Gowers devoted himself so wholeheartedly to his work that he had little time for friendships, although he always made time for his family. Between 1870 and 1900 he combined his work as a physician with research, teaching, and publishing books and articles. He became increasingly in demand as a consultant, and enlisted help in running his practice, first from Dr Walter Coleman and later Dr James Taylor. The practice expanded into two of the rooms at 50 Queen Anne Street. But few records have survived about his consultancy such as what other staff he employed or whether his self-effacing, shorthand-writing wife helped him run the practice. He appears to have done all his writing at home. The only hint about his fees comes from a letter to Rudyard Kipling’s brother-in-law, which is impossible to interpret as he does not cite an hourly rate, and there is an almost undecipherable letter from J. M. Barrie apparently asking to be excused from some treatment. There are few other hints as to who his patients were. He acted as an insurance assessor for the Guardian Assurance Company (and wrote several articles about this work in the Phonographic Journal).

Chapter.  18194 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Neurology ; History of Medicine

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