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Obituary: Dr Roger K French

Distinguished Medical Historian Roger French died on May 14, 2002, aged 64. Dr French joined the University in October 1965 as a Research Fellow in the Department of History, and, in 1967, he was appointed to a temporary Lectureship in the History of Science. He left in 1968 to take up a post at the University of Aberdeen. In 1975 he was appointed a Fellow of Clare Hall, Cambridge, and Director of the Wellcome Unit for the History of Medicine.

Dr French achieved an international reputation through his mastery of the intellectual history of pre-modern medicine. He was a prolific and wide-ranging author, in all writing eight major books and a large number of articles. He edited numerous books and gave encouragement to young continental historians just starting on their careers.

The practical projects he undertook emphasised his view that there was more to life than academia. He was an expert on cider and had at one time constructed a water mill on the Dee. The planting of a cider orchard was among his several practical achievements, and his book, The History of Virtues of Cyder, is a valuable reference for anyone embarking on cider-making.

His last book, Medicine Before Science, had been completed and accepted for publication by Cambridge University Press just a few days before his death. It will be published later this year.

He leaves a wife, Anne, and three children.

June 2002  

Death notice: Dr R K French

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Last updated: 12 June 2002 17:00
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