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Lions in the Way: A Discursive History of the Oslers

William B. Bean, M.D.
Arch Intern Med. 1961;107(4):630-631. doi:10.1001/archinte.1961.03620040156034.
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Devotees and apostles of William Osler may not be aware that a delightful family sketch of the Oslers was published some time ago by Anne Wilkinson, Osler's grandniece. This is a family chronicle, charmingly written. Not only does Anne Wilkinson weave the documents together skillfully, her sometimes wry and rueful comments reveal that she does not let her poetic faculties becloud her clear understanding of family foibles as well as family fame. The title of what she calls "A Discursive History of the Oslers" came from a letter Ellen Osler, William Osler's mother, wrote to him when she was over 90. In it she says "There are often 'Lions in the Way' when I write a note—but neither lions nor dim sight hinder loving thoughts toward those who are absent...." In addition to finding a great many interesting details of those who, if not black sheep, were at least a


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