CJ Boes
Journal Issue: 
Volume 46: Issue 1: 2016



William Gowers and William Osler first met in 1878, and Osler visited Gowers often when in London. Osler dedicated his book On Chorea and Choreiform Affections to Gowers in 1894, addressing himself as Gowers’ sincere friend. Two warm letters between Osler and Gowers exist in the Osler Library Archives, highlighting their strong friendship, and Gowers’ son Ernest wrote Osler a letter after the death of his father. Referring to the relationship between William Osler and William Gowers, he noted that Osler had indeed been a good friend to him all through. Osler wrote and edited the first edition of his textbook from 1890 through early 1892, and was influenced by Gowers’ Manual of Diseases of the Nervous System. In 1913, Osler commented that Gowers had ataxic paraplegia. Macdonald Critchley disagreed, and felt that Gowers had generalised cerebrovascular degeneration. Osler and Gowers were close friends, and this friendship was mutually beneficial.