A Short Biographical Dictionary of English Literature/Brown, Dr. John

Brown, Dr. John (1810-1882).—Physician and essayist, s. of John B., D.D., a distinguished dissenting minister in Edin. B. at Biggar, he was ed. at the High School and Univ. of Edin., where practically the whole of his uneventful life was spent as a physician, and where he was revered and beloved in no common degree, and he was the cherished friend of many of his most distinguished contemporaries, including Thackeray. He wrote comparatively little; but all he did write is good, some of it perfect, of its kind. His essays, among which are Rab and his Friends, Pet Marjorie, Our Dogs, Minchmoor, and The Enterkine, were collected along with papers on art, and medical history and biography, in Horæ Subsecivæ (Leisure Hours), 3 vols. In the mingling of tenderness and delicate humour he has much in common with Lamb; in his insight into dog-nature he is unique. His later years were clouded with occasional fits of depression.