UCL News


New biography of Gowers released

12 October 2012

A new book chronicling the life of distinguished clinical neurologist, William Richard Gowers, was launched yesterday at Queen Square at the Third International Workshop on Functional Neurosurgery.

Front cover, William Richard Gowers biography+ William Richard Gowers (1845-1915): Exploring the Victorian Brain is co-authored by UCL Institute of Neurology's Professor Andrew Lees, Ann Scott, Gowers great granddaughter, and Mervyn Eadie, a neurologist from Brisbane.

William Gowers is arguably the greatest clinical neurologist of all time and had a distinguished career at University College Hospital and the National Hospital for Neurology and Neurosurgery, becoming a fellow of the Royal Society and being knighted by Queen Victoria. His clinical methods are still used today and his Manual of the Diseases of the Nervous System, arguably his finest achievement, is still referred to at the Hospital where it is known affectionately as the "Bible."

The book was inspired by a chance finding by Queen Square librarian, Louise Shepherd, who found a number of lost papers relating to William Gowers' time at the Hospital. This coincided with a visit to the library by Ann Scott, who was researching another book about her grandfather Sir Ernest Gowers, former Chairman of the Board of Governors at Queen Square and a distinguished civil servant. Professor Lees, in his capacity as Chairman of the Hospitals' Archives Committee, met with Ann and together with Mervyn Eadie, they embarked on the project.


William Richard Gowers (1845-1915): Exploring the Victorian Brain