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Book review
Queen Square: a history of the National Hospital and its Institute of Neurology
  1. Matthew C Kiernan1,2
  1. 1 Bushell Chair of Neurology, Brain and Mind Centre, University of Sydney, Sydney, New South Wales, Australia
  2. 2 Neurology, Royal Prince Alfred Hospital, Camperdown, New South Wales, Australia
  1. Correspondence to Professor Matthew C Kiernan, Bushell Chair of Neurology, Brain and Mind Centre, University of Sydney, Sydney, NSW 2006, Australia; matthew.kiernan{at}

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Simon Shorvon and Alastair Compston, with contributions by Andrew Lees, Michael Clark and Martin Rossor, 561 pp., Cambridge University Press, November 2018

Queen Square is one of those rare and special places where the walls and wards, labs and clinics hum with the stories of careers forged, patients saved and breakthroughs made. When I started clinical training in neurology, many of my teachers had worked at the famous Queen Square and regularly regaled us with anecdotes of their experiences, their narratives often triggered by clinical presentations of the most unusual ailments and maladies. Inevitably, this inspired an ambition to work there and I was pleased to spend a number of years undertaking clinical rotations and then subsequently postdoctoral work at the Sobell Department within the Institute of Neurology. These years served to imprint many of the names, periods, rivalries and discoveries that are explored in detail through Shorvon and Compston’s recently published history of Queen Square (figure 1). As a neurologist, the subject matter is infinitely fascinating, and the resulting work is both insightful and intriguing.

Figure 1

Looking forward, looking back. A new history of Queen Square, building on the shoulders of a giant. A timely update of the original 1954 account by Holmes (‘one of the …

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