Author(s): Louis-Ferdinand Celine
Celine is best known for his early novels Journey to the End of the Night (1932) and Death on the Instalment Plan (1936), but this delirious, fanatical and unreasonable account of the life of Semmelweiss predates them both. Ignacz Semmelweiss (1818-1865) was a doctor, now regarded as the father of the cure to antisepsis. His fellow doctors rejected both his reasoning and his methods, thereby causing many thousands of deaths in maternity wards across Europe. While originally written as a thesis towards his medical doctorate in 1924, it was not published until 1936.