When Round the Red Lamp appeared in 1894, readers and reviewers were appalled. Expecting tales in the style of Conan Doyle's popular Sherlock Holmes stories, readers were shocked to find instead harrowing medical stories involving childbirth, syphilis, and botched amputations.
The tales in Round the Red Lamp range in theme from the realistic to the bizarre in such stories as 'Lot No. 249', involving a reanimated mummy that stalks a young medical student, and 'The Los Amigos Fiasco', where a doctor's misconception about the effects of electricity brings about surprising results for a condemned prisoner. In addition to the fifteen stories in the original collection, this edition reprints three of Conan Doyle's other rare medical tales, including the chilling masterpiece 'The Retirement of Signor Lambert'.
In addition to being a prolific writer, Arthur Conan Doyle (1859-1930) was a medical doctor and the author of a variety of nonfiction articles and essays on medical subjects. This edition includes a selection of Conan Doyle's rare nonfiction medical writings, some of which have never been reprinted. As Robert Darby argues in the introduction to this edition, these stories and articles provide 'a rare glimpse into the world of a provincial GP at the moment when old-style medicine was dying and the modern medical profession was emerging'.
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