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Book: M. Winther: Bibliotheca Danorum Medica History of the Introduction of Lithium into Medicine and Psychiatry

Book Reviews

  • Plopski I. Yam B. Israel Journal of Psychiatry and Related Sciences 2010;Oct.
  • Bertelsen A. History of Psychiatry 2010;21:237-238
  • Grof P. Acta Psychiatrica Scandinavica 2010;121:488
  • Healy D. Australasian Psychiatry 2010;18:264
  • Malhi G. Acta Neuropsychiatrica 2010;22:161
  • Duffy; Grof. Canadian Journal of Psychiatry 2010:818

By Johan Schioldann

390pp.   Published 2009    ISBN 978-0-9805477-0-2   $AU 95.00
Sale Price $65.00

Professor Johan Schioldann's scholarly account of his detailed and painstaking investigations into the early medical uses of lithium and, in particular, into the manner in which this remarkable element was introduced into psychciatric treatment, represents a major contribution to the study of the history of medicine. – Although the ideas of Carl Lange, a Danish neuropathologist, and his brother Frederik (Fritz) Lange, a psychiatrist, have been referred to by a number of previous writers on the history of lithium therapy, it has fallen, fittingly, to one of their fellow countrymen to establish beyond any doubt the seminal importance of the work they carried out over a century ago. Adopting a narrative-analytical approach to this material, Schioldann has produced a rigorous and erudite account of a fascinating era in medical history, and has managed to do so in a wonderfully readable fashion. – This book will be widely welcomed, not only by medical historians and by psychiatrists involved in the day-to-day practice of lithium therapy, but by all those who are fascinated by the way in which a deceptively simple chemical element led to a revolution in modern psychiatric practice. (F. Neil John, author of History of Lithium Therapy. London: McMillan, 1984)

Armed with a historiography that most medics will empathise with, Professor Schioldann has tackled a hard problem and managed to advance the field. This advance not only concerns the history of lithium therapy, Schioldann providing penetrating analyses of the contributions of the Lange brothers in the late 1800s and John Cade in 1947-49, but also the history of psychopharmacology in general. He has re-mapped the field and shown that earlier maps were incomplete or inaccurate. ( G. E. Berrios, University of Cambridge).

There are a few ways to review a book. One is to list the significant contents or argument. Another is to critiques the points being made by the author. A third is to try to situate the book, among others in the field. This review goes for the third option, partly because there are very few books about which the term magisterial can be used, but this is one of them. To qualify for being magisterial a book has to encompass close to all there is to say on an issue. It also has to strike the right balance. Johan Schioldann's work on the history of lithium does just this. [...] It is difficult to see how anyone else could have assembled the materials on any other drug as well as Professor Schioldann has done for lithium here. It is unlikely that there will be many other books, if any, on psychotropic or other medical drugs that will define an area in quite the way this one has. (David Healy. Bangor, Wales. Australasian Psychiatry. 2010.

[Schioldann's book should] become a classic in the history of psychiatry. (Aksel Bertelsen. Aarhus University Hospital Risskov, Denmark. Book review. History of Psychiatry, 2010;21:238-239).


Book: M. Winther: Bibliotheca Danorum Medica Famous and Very Important Persons
Medical, Psychological, Psychiatric Bibliography,
Vol. 2: 1985-1999

Book Reviews

  • Retterstøl N. Tidsskr. Norsk Lægeforening 2005;125:3508

By Johan Schioldann

387pp Published 2005.   ISBN 0-9578585-5-8  
 AU $45.00
Sale Price $30.00

(Vol. 1: Famous and Very Important Persons Medical, Psychological, Psychiatric Bibliography, Vol. 1: 1960-1984. Odense University Studies in Psychiatry and Medical Psychology, Vol. 3. Odense University Press, 1986.)



Book: M. Winther: Bibliotheca Danorum Medica M. Winther: Bibliotheca Danorum Medica


Full Conspectus Of
Medical and Related Treatises
In Denmark, Norway, [Schleswig]
And Holstein Down To The Year 1832

Book Reviews

  • Bak-Jensen S. Bibliotek for Læger 2005;197:269-71

Edited with Introduction by
Johan Schioldann, MD

Mathias Winther's book is the first more comprehensive bibliography of Danish medical literature, published in Copenhagen in 1832. - Then under Danish sovereignty, the work includes references to the literature of Iceland and Norway (under Sweden from 1814), and the duchies of Schleswig and Holstein (lost in the German-Danish war in 1864). In addition, a number of references to works by foreign authors are included. - The arrangement is by subjects in alphabetical order. - Even today Winther's bibliography, an important contribution to medical bibliography, is of practical value, providing the historian with easy access to Danish medical literature, especially through the 17th and the 18th centuries, when many Danish medical scientists secured the reputation of Danish medicine in Europe.

315 pp. Illustrated. Published 2004

ISBN 0-9578585-4-X

AU $40.00


Book:M. Winther: Handbook of the Literature of the Natural Sciences in Denmark, Norway, [Schleswig], and Holstein Down to the Year 1829 for the Use of Naturalists & PhysiciansM. Winther: Handbook of the Literature of the Natural Sciences in Denmark, Norway, [Schleswig], and Holstein Down to the Year 1829 for the Use of Naturalists & Physicians

Reissued with Introduction by
Johan Schioldann, MD


248 pp. Published 2006

ISBN 0-9578585-6-6

AU $30.00

Book: M. Winther: Bibliotheca Danorum Medica C. F. Ludwig: Introduction to the Bibliography of Practical Medicine 1806

Reissued with Introduction by
Johan Schioldann, MD


548 pp. Published 2006

ISBN 0-9578585-7-4

AU $40.00

Book: August Wimmer: Psychogenic PsychosesAugust Wimmer: Psychogenic Psychoses

Book Reviews

  • Castignini A. Acta Psychiatrica Scandinavica 2004;109:159
  • Gerevich J. Ungvari GS. Psychological Medicine 2004:1588-1589
  • Hemmingsen R. Ugeskrift for Læger 2004;166:522
  • Munro A. Canadian Journal of Psychiatry 2004;50:870
  • Pillmann F. History of Psychiatry 2004;15:501-505
  • Morrison J. Annals of Clinical Psychiatry 2004;16:179-180
  • Varghese F. Australian and New Zealand Journal of Psychiatry 2004;38:177
  • Audisio M. l'Information Psychiatrique 2005;81:157

Edited And Translated With Introduction By
Johan Schioldann

Forewards By
German Berrios & Nils Retterstøl

It is unfortunate that Wimmer's classic monograph on the psychogenic psychoses never appeared in a major language.
Poul Faergeman (†1967)

Wimmer's monograph represented the first comprehensive survey of the whole field of psychogenic psychoses. - It probably gave the best description of these psychoses ever written - surely one of the most outstanding contributions to Scandinavian psychiatry - Undoubtedly, it would have been of epoch-making importance internationally had it been translated into a world language. That this did not eventuate is probably the most essential explanation for the great difference there exists in this field between Scandinavian and Anglo-Saxon psychiatry. - It may well be that most of the controversies within our field could have been avoided had this monumental work been translated into English soon after its first publication in 1916.
Erik Strömgren (†1993)

There is one truly serious, question in psychiatry, and that is psychogenesis. Wimmer's book provided ['a new understanding of psychogenesis'] in detail and at a level of historical argument unsurpassed to this very day. - In his extraordinary book, Wimmer makes a case for psychogenesis that has not yet been answered by modern psychiatry; it should encourage current psychiatrists to do so. - Those interested in psychogenesis should start by reading Wimmer's magnificent book.
German Berrios, Cambridge

Schioldann's book on Wimmer and the psychogenic psychoses nots only opens the door to Wimmer's concept of psychogenic psychoses. It presents to us one of the greatest psychiatrists of his time, August Wimmer. The book gives us the first presentation of Wimmer's important ['brilliant'] treatise in the English language. - Wimmer's concept of psychogenic psychoses is not only of historical interest. When being further elaborated on, it may be of great value for the future. Schioldarm's penetrating study will be a foundation stone in the history of psychogenic psychoses.
Nils Retterstøl, Oslo

265pp Illustrated. Published 2003.

ISBN 0-9578585-3-1

AU $50.00
Sale Price $35.00



Book: In Commemoration of the Centenary of the Death of Carl Lange. The Lange Theory of 'Periodical Depressions' - A Landmark in the History of Lithium Therapy.In Commemoration of the Centenary of the Death of Carl Lange.
The Lange Theory of 'Periodical Depressions'
A Landmark in the History of Lithium Therapy.

Book Reviews

  • Vestergaard P. Ugeskrift for Læger 2001;163:7063
  • Berrios G. History of Psychiatry 2002;13:482-483
  • Munk-Jørgensen P. Acta Psychiatrica Scandinavica 2002;105:158
  • Retterstøl N. Tidsskrift Norsk Lægeforening 2002;122:2481
  • Himmelhoch JM. Bipolar Disorders 2005;7:477-478
  • Goldney RD. Australian and New Zealand Journal of Psychiatry 2006;40:377

By Johan A. Schioldann.

According to this book, the Danish psychiatrist, Fritz Lange, at the Middelfart Psychiatric Hospital, Denmark, in the late 1800s and early 1900s, routinely used lithium in the treatment of affective disorders, on the basis of the treatise on 'Periodical Depressions' and uric acid diathesis, by his brother, the famous Carl Lange. It was erroneously believed that lithium salts could correct abnormal uric acid levels and thus remedy conditions believed to be caused by uric acid, such as 'gouty mania' and 'gouty melancholia'. Their contemporaries only just stopped short of accusing them of quackery.

200pp Illustrated. Published 2001.

ISBN 0-9578585-0-5.

AU $35.00



Book: Erik Strömgren fortæller om sit liv med psykiatrien.Erik Strömgren fortæller om sit liv med psykiatrien.

Book Reviews

  • Mellergård M. Ugeskrift for Læger 2002;164:3093

Et interview med Mogens Schou 1986.
Redigeret af Johan Schioldann.
(Danish text with an English Summary).

The Danish psychiatrist Erik Strömgren was 'one of world psychiatry's greatest figures'. He 'performed outstandingly important research which demonstrated the nature of mental illness and made psychiatry a respectable part of medicine'. In 1986, he agreed to a videotaped interview with Mogens Schou in which he talks about his life in psychiatry. This book is a transcription of this interview - an important record in the modern history of Danish psychiatry.

70pp. Illustrated. Published 2002.

ISBN 0-9578585-0-5

AU $20.00


Book: Pre-Durkheim Suicidology: The 1892 Reviews of Tuke and SavagePre-Durkheim Suicidology:
The 1892 Reviews of Tuke and Savage

Book Reviews

  • Buda B. Crisis 2003;24:137

Robert D. Goldney, M.D. Johan A. Schioldann, M.D.
Forward by Alan L. Berman, PH.D.

"In presenting us with the works of Tuke and Savage [on suicidology] Goldney and Schioldann teach us to profoundly respect our past and to appreciate the richness of the soil from which we have grown. Like suicidologic archaelogists they have unearthed some early treasures and put them on display. In doing so, they have added some significant branches to our family tree and given us much to contemplate. For this we owe them a sincere debt of gratitude."
Alan L. Berman, Executive Director, American Association of Suicidology

87pp. Illustrated. Published 2002.

ISBN 0-9578585-2-3

AU $32.00


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