Sir Charles Bell

  • Robert Butler


It is told that one restless night, being struck by a sudden idea, Sir Charles Bell awoke his wife exclaiming, β€œ Eureka! I pray God not to have sent me an empty dream, or to suffer me in the morning to recover the thread of this nocturnal vision. If I see with my waking eyes what I have caught a glimpse of in slumber I shall assuredly leave behind me an immortal name.”

This was the dream of a man of great vision and genius, who, retiring to sleep, awakes once more with his dominant thought, an idea matured by the coalescence of inspiration and protracted study.

There can be no doubt that Charles Bell had intellectual brilliance in great measure; during his lifetime he was surgeon, anatomist, physiologist, artist and philosopher. In fact his critics have said of him that his academic life was too highly faceted, and that had his work been steered along a more homogeneous pathway, his reputation might have been all the greater.

How to Cite
Butler, R. (1). Sir Charles Bell. Res Medica, 3(2).