Richard Gordon (English author)

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Richard Gordon
Born Gordon Stanley Ostlere
(1921-09-15) 15 September 1921 (age 100)
Nationality English
Known for "Doctor" novel series

Richard Gordon is the pen name used by Gordon Ostlere (born Gordon Stanley Ostlere on 15 September 1921), an English surgeon and anaesthetist. As Richard Gordon, Ostlere has written numerous novels, screenplays for film and television and accounts of popular history, mostly dealing with the practice of medicine. He is best known for a long series of comic novels on a medical theme beginning with Doctor in the House, and the subsequent film, television, radio and stage adaptations. His The Alarming History of Medicine was published in 1993, and he followed this with The Alarming History of Sex.

Gordon worked as an anaesthetist at St. Bartholomew's Hospital (where he was a medical student) and later as a ship's surgeon and as assistant editor of the British Medical Journal. He has published several technical books under his own name including Anaesthetics for Medical Students (1949), later published as Ostlere and Bryce-Smith's Anaesthetics for Medical Students in 1989; Anaesthetics and the Patient (1949), and Trichlorethylene Anaesthesia (1953)[1].

In 1952, he left medical practice and took up writing full time. The early Doctor novels, set in the fictitious St. Swithin's, a teaching hospital in London, were witty and apparently autobiographical; later books included more sexual innuendo and farce. The novels were very successful in Britain in Penguin paperback during the 1960s and 1970s. Richard Gordon also contributed articles to Punch magazine and has published books on medicine, gardening, fishing and cricket.

The film adaptation of Doctor in the House (1954) was released two years after the book's publication. He has an uncredited role as an anaesthetist in the film. Doctor at Sea came out the following year, with Brigitte Bardot in the cast. Dirk Bogarde starred as Dr. Simon Sparrow in both. The later spin-off TV series were written by well-known British comedy writers. In 1974 he walked off the set of This is Your Life when Eamonn Andrews appeared with the red book. He later changed his mind and the show was transmitted a week later.

His wife Mary Ostlere is also a physician, and they have four children. He lives in London.

Partial bibliography

  • Doctor in the House. London: Joseph. 1952.
  • Doctor at Sea. London: Joseph. 1953.
  • Doctor at Large. London: Joseph. 1955.
  • Doctor in Love. London. Joseph. 1957
  • Doctor and Son. London: Joseph. 1959.
  • Doctor in Clover. London: Joseph. 1960.
  • Doctor on Toast. London: Joseph. 1961.
  • Doctor in the Swim. London. Joseph. 1962.
  • The Summer of Sir Lancelot. Heinemann. 1965.
  • Love and Sir Lancelot. Heinemann. 1965.
  • Doctor on the Boil. Heinemann. 1970.
  • Doctor on the Brain. Heinemann. 1972.
  • Doctor in the Nude. Heinemann. 1973.
  • Doctor on the Job. Heinemann. 1976.
  • Doctor in the Nest. Heinemann. 1979.
  • Doctor's Daughters. Heinemann. 1981.
  • Doctor on the Ball. Hutchinson. 1985.
  • Doctor in the Soup. Century. 1986.
  • The last of Sir Lancelot. Hale. 1999.
  • The Captain's Table. London: Joseph. 1954.
  • Nuts in May. Heinemann. 1964.
  • The Facemaker. Heinemann. 1967.
  • Surgeon at Arms. Heinemann. 1968.
  • The Facts of Life. Heinemann. 1969
  • The Medical Witness. Heinemann. 1971
  • The Sleep of Life. Heinemann. 1975.
  • The Invisible Victory. Heinemann. 1977.
  • The Private Life of Florence Nightingale. Heinemann. 1978.
  • The Private Life of Jack the Ripper. Heinemann. 1980.
  • The Private Life of Doctor Crippen. Heinemann, 1981.


External links