Medicine: Vile Melancholy

Samuel Johnson was one of the most doctored men of his time; no fewer than 57 physicians and surgeons have been catalogued among his cronies, and most of them treated him. The more a Harvard medical student named Peter Pineo Chase read about Johnson's aches & pains, the more fascinated he became. Since 1907, he has made a hobby of studying Johnson from the vantage point of modern medical knowledge.

Dr. Chase, now a Providence surgeon, gives his diagnosis in the current issue of the Yale Journal of Biology and Medicine. The great writer's troubles began even before his birth. His mother...

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