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I earned a Ph.D. in English and comparative literature from Columbia University in 1976. After teaching for a brief period, I decided to pursue a career as a physician. I obtained the M.D. degree from the University of Texas at San Antonio and completed a residency in psychiatry at Dartmouth-Hitchcock Medical Center. Early in my residency I somehow found time to publish as a book my dissertation on the English poet Sir Philip Sidney. For the past twenty years I have practiced general adult psychiatry in Portland, Oregon. My intellectual interests at this time are twofold. First, I pursue research in topics in neuroscience that have a bearing on bipolar and seasonal affective disorders. Second, I maintain an interest in exploring the interface between the sciences and the humanities. This led me to study the history of psychiatry and the neurosciences in the nineteenth century. While exploring the work of George Eliot and her friends, I came upon heretofore neglected evidence suggesting that Herbert Spencer suffered from a neurobehavioral disorder that he had taken extraordinary pains to conceal. Thus originated The Complicity of Friends.