Macdonald Critchley: Collections on Cora Pearl and Napoleon III

Scope and Content

Correspondence, notes, articles, newscuttings and photographs compiled by Macdonald Critchley relating to Cora Pearl and the medical history of Napoleon III.

Administrative / Biographical History

Macdonald Critchley (1900-1997), neurologist, was born in Bristol on 2 February 1900, and educated at the Christian Brothers' College in the city. After serving in the war, he attended Bristol University, where he graduated in 1922. He trained as a neurologist at the National Hospital, Queen Square, London, and in 1928 was appointed to the consultant staff at the National Hospital and King's College Hospital. During the Second World War, he was a surgeon captain. Critchley published many essays and the biographies of two neurologists. He was President of the World Federation of Neurology, 1965-1973. He died at his home in Bridgwater, Somerset, on 15 October 1997.

Cora Pearl (1835 ?-1886) was a courtesan during the Second Empire in France. Her real name was Emma Elizabeth Crouch.

Napoleon III (1808-1873) was Emperor of France, 1852-1870.

Access Information

Open for consultation by holders of a Reader's Ticket valid for the Manuscripts Reading Room.

Acquisition Information

Presented by Dr J.P.T. Bury, 1983.


The biographical history was compiled with reference to W.I. McDonald, 'Critchley, Macdonald (1900-1997)', Oxford dictionary of national biography (Oxford University Press, 2004).

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