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Samuel Alexander Kinnier Wilson (1878–1937) and Sir Charles Sherrington (1857–1952) were two of the most distinguished figures in 20th century neurology and neuroscience. Kinnier Wilson is best remembered now for the disease that bears his name1 and for his scholarly and influential textbook which was first published posthumously in 1940.2 In 1920, he also founded and edited the Journal of Neurology and Psychopathology, which evolved into the present Journal of Neurology, Neurosurgery and Psychiatry. Sherrington was the outstanding neurophysiologist of the first half of the 20th century, famous for his studies of the reflex and integrative functions of the nervous system and for his philosophical and poetic contributions.3 4
Through my contact with Kinnier Wilson’s son, James, with whom I collaborated on Babylonian neurology,5 6 two documents have come to light which confirm a warm professional relationship between Kinnier Wilson and Sherrington late in their respective academic careers.
Figure 1 is a letter from ED (later …