Erasmus Darwin and the larynx – but why is it where it is and when?

Charles Darwin’s grandfather was not only on to where we all came from by the end of the 18th century, but dared to declare it in verse whilst resident in Lichfield Cathedral Close. This needed exceptional temerity, since not only...

The Dilemma of Beethoven’s Deafness

Beethoven was one of the world’s greatest musicians, and his deafness is well known. Many details of his medical conditions are known, and various theories of his hearing loss have been proposed. Ludwig van Beethoven was born in 1770 in...

A ‘rye’ tail – the fatal illness of Lord Boringdon, a Regency tragedy

The anonymous privately-printed book, Some Account of Lord Boringdon’s Accident, describes in deferential terms a case of aspiration of a foreign body and its sequelae. Today aspirated foreign bodies are serious but curable injuries; before the invention of the bronchoscope...