This is the third of a biographical trilogy of Reginald Grove who, within weeks of becoming qualified, was catapulted into running his father’s medical practice in 1894.
His career spanned a period of immense change in medical practice ranging from house calls on horseback to carrying out surgical operations on the kitchen tables of his patients.
But it’s also a love story between Reginald and Hilda described in over 500 letters that they wrote to each other during their courtship and marriage.
All the world’s a stage - and across Reginald’s stage flitted a cavalcade of colourful characters.
Fraudsters like ‘’Sequah’, a Yorkshireman, who posed as Native American, to sell bottles of the elixir of life with his Wild West entertainment show. Tyndale-Biscoe, a young curate, attacked by a mob in London’s East End which thought he was ‘Jack the Ripper’. Rob Tattersall, a musical hall ventriloquist, who used life sized dolls for his end of the pier performances. Gustave Kunne who murdered his lover and then committed suicide as she lay beside him. And Major Herbert Armstrong, the only solicitor in England ever to be hanged for murder. These, and many others, form the backdrop of Reginald’s life in the Victorian and Edwardian periods.
He made a distinctive mark on the life of his community and was remembered at his death by his patients with great affection and respect as a reassuring family doctor who knew each of them personally.
Peter Flower read modern history at King’s College, London University and was elected an Associate of Kings College (AKC). He is a member of the British Association for Local History and a member of the Richmond Local History Society as well as the Huntingdonshire Local History Society.
‘Reginald sounds a most interesting and impressive figure and I congratulate you on having done so much research in order to create a literary and historical portrait of his life’.
Revd Jonathan Aitken, former MP and Chief Secretary to the Treasury, Prison Chaplain and author of John Newton: From Disgrace to Amazing Grace, and many other publications.
I wish you every success with the publication your book.
I have long been convinced we need to get back to the old system of everyone having their own family doctor.(S. West Surrey Constituency newsletter 19.05.2022)
Rt Hon Jeremy Hunt MP, Chancellor of the Exchequer, Chair of the Health and Social Care Committee.He is the author of Zero: Eliminating unnecessary deaths in a post-pandemic NHS and is leading an inquiry into the future of general practice.
‘This is a remarkable book and a timely publication when so many people today long for a doctor who knows them well. Reginald made personal friends of his patients and knew their past history and domestic troubles. He always emphasised the fact that doctors have to deal with human beings, with their body, mind, spirit and emotions affecting every aspect of their wellbeing.’
Dr Gareth Tuckwell, Vice President, Phyllis Tuckwell Hospice Care, former General Practitioner, Chairman of Sanctuary Care Boards, Chairman ME Trust and joint author of 'Talking about Dying', and 'A Question of Healing’.
‘The description of professional practice and family life in the period before World War 1 is particularly interesting. This book will appeal to students of medical education, general practice and social history.’
British Society for the History of Medicine
‘This substantial book …is extensively annotated with over 1600 footnotes and has a useful bibliography, as well as illustrations, maps, family trees, a timeline, and other appendices, and a very adequate index …a good picture emerges of the life and work of a conscientious and thoughtful rural GP of the period.’
British Association for Local History