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This volume which initially appeared in the Lancet, represents a final attempt to lay or exorcise the persistent pathologic ghost of Napoleon's last illness and death. It is based on a careful examination of the documents and a microscopic study of the specimens preserved from the autopsy. Of the authenticity of these specimens there seems to be still some slight doubt; but, accepting them as genuine, there seems good ground for accepting the author's conclusion that "the cause of Napoleon's death was cancer of the lesser curvature of the stomach developing on the site of an old gastric ulcer." There were also vesical calculi, and at the apex of the left lung some small healed foci of tuberculosis. On the basis of the clinical history, and considering the medical knowledge and diagnostic methods of the time, Chaplin attempts a defence of the physicians who have been so severely criticized for their treatment of the Emperor. An appendix contains the brief biographies of these four physicians; a second, the story of the specimens, which are preserved in the museum of the Royal College of Surgeons, London; and a third an account of the exhumation of Napoleon on Oct. 16, 1840. There is a melancholy grandeur of interest associated with this final clinico-pathologic study of Napoleon's case, as with all that pertains to the history of the great Corsican.
"Why do you choose such a title as The Valley of Vision for your book," said my friend; "do you mean that one can see farther from the valley than from the mountain-top?" This question set me thinking, as every honest question ought to do. Here is the result of my thoughts, which you will take for what it is worth, if you care to read the book. The mountain-top is the place of outlook over the earth and the sea. But it is in the valley of suffering, endurance, and self-sacrifice that the deepest visions of the meaning of life come to us.
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