Patrick Manson, The Father of Tropical Medicine (Series: British Men of Science)

by Sir Philip Manson-Bahr, C.M.G.D.S.O., M.D., F.R.C.P. (Lond.). viii + 192 pages, illustrated. Thomas Nelson and Sons Ltd. London, Edinburgh, Paris, Melbourne, Johannesburg, Toronto, and New York. 1962. 15/net

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  • Department of Tropical Medicine and Public Health Tulane University School of Medicine, New Orleans 12, Louisiana

This relatively small volume by the son-in-law of Sir Patrick Manson provides an intimate account of the founder of tropical medicine. Although a more definitive biography of the great investigator and teacher was published thirty-five years earlier by Colonel A. Alcock, this one is especially welcome because it provides information which could only have been obtained from the personal relationship between the subject of the book and the author, who has carried on the work of the master, and is now in the sunset years of his own distinguished career.

Knowledge concerning diseases in tropical countries was almost completely lacking when Manson obtained his academic medical training in Aberdeen, followed by a year of practical experience in a mental hospital in Durham. His real opportunity came in 1866, when he was appointed as medical officer for Formosa in the Chinese Imperial Customs Service, followed by more eventful years of research and discovery beginning in 1871, when he assumed a similar post at Amoy on the Chinese mainland.