News | Published:

Valentin Magnan

    Naturevolume 135pages10271028 (1935) | Download Citation



    THE eminent French psychiatrist, Valentin Jacques Joseph Magnan, the centenary of whose birth was celebrated on May 27 by a special meeting of the Societe medico-psychologique, was born on March 16, 1835, at Perpignan, which was also the birthplace of three other celebrated French psychiatrists, Pinel, Esquirol and Falret. His medical education took place first at Lyons and then in Paris, where he qualified in 1866 with a thesis on the anatomical lesions in general paralysis. The following year he was appointed physician to the Asile Sainte-Anne, to which he was attached for forty-five years. His most important work was concerned with the psychoses produced by alcoholism, in the modern investigation of which he was a pioneer, absinthe, in the prohibition of which in France he was mainly instrumental, and morphia; epilepsy, and sexual anomalies and aberrations. As director of Sainte-Anne, where he founded the Societe clinique de medecine mentale, he was an enthusiastic advocate of the no restraint system and especially of the suppression of the straight-jacket. His clinical lectures, which attracted numerous French and foreign physicians to Sainte-Anne, were for thirty years published in Le Progres Medical, of which the issue for June 8 commemorates the centenary. In 1893 he was elected a member of the French Academy of Medicine, of which he became president in 1915. In his will he left the sum of 25,000 francs to the Academy for the foundation of a prize in psychiatry which bears his name. His death took place on September 27, 1916, when he had reached the age of eighty-one years, his faculties remaining intact until the end.

    About this article

    Publication history

    Issue Date



    By submitting a comment you agree to abide by our Terms and Community Guidelines. If you find something abusive or that does not comply with our terms or guidelines please flag it as inappropriate.

    Newsletter Get the most important science stories of the day, free in your inbox. Sign up for Nature Briefing