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Letter from Florence Nightingale to [Dr Pattison Walker], 10 Apr 1866
Description: From 35 South Street. The specific disease doctrine. Signature removed
Object Number: LMA/H01/ST/NC/01/002/66/04
Full Transcription:
LMA letter H01/ST/NC11/66/4

[page i]

April 10/66
35 South Street
Park Lane W. [abbr: West]

My dear Sir

I will only now
thank you for your
most kind & valuable
letter of February 21 from
Simla - for the "Proceedings",
which I have not yet
received, & concerning
which I will exactly
abserve your behests -
for the Jail Report,
which I have received -
& for your numberless
valuable M.[gap: illegible] Extracts -
particularly "Habits in

[page ii]

relation to Heat Influence" -
Return showing cub. ft. [abbr: cubic feet]
& [unclear: supers.] area per man for
Bengal Corps - April 1864.
All these facts are invaluable
to refer to.

I am afraid you will
think I am going beyond
my province but then
you know you need not
listen to what I say -
if I say : Facts are
everything - doctrines are
nothing.

See what harm the
German pathologists have
done us.

[page iii]


There are no specific diseases -
there are specific
disease conditions.
It is that which is bringing
the Medical Profession
to grief, & will, in time,
work a great reform -
to wit [abbr: witness], to make them
make the public care
for its own health, &
not rely on doctrine.
It is a good thing for
weak minds the
doctrine of contagion.
It is a [unclear: grand] thing for
[gap: damaged]
it is not a [unclear: one sided one.]
The specific disease: doctrine
is the grand refuge of

[page iv]

weak uncultured, unable
minds such as now
rule the medical
profession from Dr.
Watson downwards -
Watson who has the
biggest practice in London.

Pardon me these unprofessional
words. I will not
trouble you again till
I farther know of your
whereabouts & pray

believe me, my dear Sir,
ever yours truly & gratefully
[gap: damaged]