Macphail, Sir Andrew

Sir Andrew Macphail, physician, man of letters, professor of medicine, soldier (b at Orwell, PEI 24 Nov 1864; d at Montréal 23 Sept 1938). Macphail studied at Prince of Wales College, Charlottetown, before proceeding to McGill, where he received degrees in arts and medicine. After practising medicine and teaching at Bishop's University medical faculty in Montréal from 1893 to 1905, Macphail was appointed McGill's first professor of the history of medicine in 1907, a chair he occupied for 30 years. In 1911 he became founding editor of the monthly Canadian Medical Association Journal, a position he held until enlisting as a medical officer in WWI. Beginning in 1905 he published more than 10 books and scores of shorter pieces, most on nonmedical themes. Many of his essays appeared in The UNIVERSITY MAGAZINE, an outstanding Canadian quarterly he edited 1907-20, with the exception of his 4 years overseas. Most of his writings in this period were political commentary or social criticism. His particular concerns were to define the imperial connection between Canada and the UK, and to expose fallacies in, for example, feminism or modern education. He was knighted for his literary and military work on 2 Jan 1918. The book to which he devoted most care, and which he considered his best, appeared posthumously: The Master's Wife (1939, repr 1977), a semiautobiographical reminiscence of Prince Edward Island.