JR Silver, M-F Weiner
Journal Issue: 
Volume 43: Issue 1: 2013



Jean-Paul Marat was a French revolutionary, famously murdered in his bath by Charlotte Corday in 1793. A lesser known fact is that for over ten years he lived in Britain where he practised as a doctor. During this time he visited London, Edinburgh, Dublin and Holland. Although he had no formal medical training, he published two medical papers on gleets (gonorrhoea) and diseases of the eyes and, on the recommendation of two eminent Scottish physicians, William Buchan and Hugh James, he was granted a medical degree from the University of St Andrews. Marat left no medical legacy and his related writings were forgotten for 100 years until the rediscovery of the two medical papers, which were eventually re-published in 1892 at the instigation of James Bailey, the librarian of the Royal College of Surgeons of England. Biographies by F Chevremont (1880), Ashbee Spencer (1890) and A Cabanès (1891) had rekindled interest in this intriguing revolutionary. A  study of his time in Britain and his medical works and training provide an interesting insight into the mind of a revolutionary and how his sojourn may have shaped his future political career upon his return to France in 1777.Keywords Jean-Paul Marat, gleets, diseases of the eyes, French RevolutionDeclarations of Interests No conflicts of interest declared.