"Round the Red Lamp" features realistic stories and episodes of medical life, sketches of old-fashioned doctors, medical students and their pranks.
Sir Arthur Conan Doyle wrote a letter to his friend regarding this book.
Here is a portion of what he wrote: It is the province of fiction to treat painful things as well as cheerful ones.
The story which wiles away a weary hour fulfills an obviously good purpose, but not more so, I hold, than that which helps to emphasize the graver side of life.
A tale which may startle the reader out of his usual grooves of thought, and shocks him into seriousness, plays the part of the alliterative and tonic in medicine, bitter to the taste but bracing in the result.
There are a few stories in this little collection which might have such an effect, and I have so far shared in your feeling that I have reserved them from serial publication. In book-form the reader can see that they are medical stories, and can, if he or she be so minded, avoid them.
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