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History of the Physiological Society during its first Fifty Years, 1876-1926


THIS “History of the Physiological Society” has been written by its only surviving and still active original member, Sir Edward SharpeySchafer, who undertook it as a labour of love, and has succeeded in presenting a wonderfully attractive account full of biographical details and human touches. The thumb-nail sketches of deceased members are illustrated by small portraits let into the page in the position of an illuminated initial letter; many of the photographs of the earlier members present them with a youthful appearance unfamiliar even to those who are now of an age when superannuation and retirement are in the near offing. The notices themselves have the charm conveyed by personal knowledge and kindly humour: thus, “Foster's success was, however, not due entirely to his influence over the younger Cambridge biologists (Gaskell, Balfour, Langley, Newell, Martin, and Sheridan Lea), but quite as much to the power he had of influencing senior members of the University, who were not long in recognizing that a prophet had arisen amongst them who would make the bones of biological science, which had become very dry in Cambridge, live again.” The occasional reproduction of signatures at meetings and dinners adds a further interest to what is, among other things, a dictionary of physiological worthies.

History of the Physiological Society during its first Fifty Years, 1876-1926.

By Sir Edward Sharpey-Schafer. Pp. iv + 198. (Cambridge: At the University Press, 1927.) 15s. net.

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History of the Physiological Society during its first Fifty Years, 1876-1926. Nature 121, 491–492 (1928).

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