Letter from Arthur to his sister Margaret, October 1906
[No original available]
<p>Egerton House, Berkhamsted</p><p>Oct. 11, 1906.</p><p>Dearest Margaret,</p><p>I visited Treves this morning, with very satisfactory results. He thinks that inflammation occurring naturally in the course of healing is sufficient to account for all the symptoms, and though it is impossible to say positively that there is not a new growth behind the swelling, he thinks that all the indications are in my favour. Besides the facts with which we are familiar – completeness and apparent effectiveness of operation, healthy condition of glands, my general good health, etc – he said that recurrence after so short a time would be unusual and that he would not expect to find it so far from the place of the original trouble. He advised me to take a course of light and electricity treatment (in London – perhaps for an hour twice a week, but this is not settled) both to reduce the swelling and to meet the possibility of anything being in fact wrong. He said it was important to maintain good general health and not to do very hard work at present.</p><p>So our minds are now at rest, and already it seems a long time since we thought there was cause for serious anxiety. I feel compunction at having made a hullabaloo about nothing and having caused the family needless trouble. However, it is something to have provided the occasion for so much sympathy, kindness and effective help.</p><p>We shall be very glad to see you on Monday if you can come.</p><p>I have sent off the article for the Independent Review. I think it may be useful though it is not so clear as I could have wished.</p><p>Yours affectly,</p><p>A.Ll.D.</p><p><br /></p><p>Peter's comments:<br /></p><p>Of the article, or any others by Arthur, I am sorry to say I know nothing.</p><p>Treves, the most famous surgeon of those days, called in most likely by J.M.B. – can he really have meant what he appears to have said? It seems scarcely credible. And I think Arthur, in saying “our minds are now at rest”, can scarcely have expected Margaret to believe him.</p><p>[AB: Sir Frederick Treves (1853-1923) was an expert in anatomy. He was renowned for his surgical treatment of appendicitis and is was credited with saving the life of Edward VII in 1902. He was also widely known for his friendship with Joseph Merrick, aka the Elephant Man, portrayed by Anthony Hopkins in David Lynch’s 1980 film.]</p>
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