Rare Book Profile: Sir Byrom Bramwell’s Intracranial Tumours.
Byrom Bramwell’s Intracranial Tumours (Philadelphia : J.B. Lippincot, 1888) was the first clinical treatise on brain tumors when it was published in 1888. It was considered a classic when its author died over 40 years later.
Sir Byrom Bramwell (1837-1931) was the son and grandson of physicians, born in the town North Shields in northeast England. He studied medicine at the University of Edinburgh, received his M.B. degree in 1869, and returned to join his father’s medical practice in North Shields. He moved to Newcastle in 1871 to lecture on medical jurisprudence and pathology at the University of Durham School of Medicine at Newcastle, and in 1874 became physician and pathologist at the Royal Infirmary there. He submitted his thesis for his M.D. degree to the University of Edinburgh in 1877, and moved to Edinburgh 1879, establishing a medical practice and lecturing on diagnosis at the extra-academical school. In 1880, he became a fellow of the Royal College of Physicians of Edinburgh and a regular lecturer at the University. He served as pathologist at the Royal Infirmary of Edinburg from 1882-1885, and was promoted to assistant physician in 1885, then full physician in 1897. From 1892-1897 he taught classes segregated by sex: lectures on clinical medicine for female students, and weekly outpatient clinics for male students. He continued to teach and practice medicine, was active in professional organizations. In 1924 he was honored with knighthood for his services to medicine.
Bramwell was a general physician, but he made major contributions in neurology, cardiology, hematology, and endocrinology. In the course of his career, he published over 160 papers and books. Intracranial Tumours was one of Bramwell’s most important publications. The short final chapter, on surgery, was written by Dr. Arthur W. Hare.
The Health Sciences Library’s copy is the first American edition, bound in publisher’s blue cloth stamped in gilt and blind, with brown coated endpapers. The signature of a former owner, Dr. J.T. Eskridge, is on the title page.
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