"Pain and Behaviour in Medical Practice": Robert E. Havard's Draft of the Appendix to 'The Problem of Pain'


  • Robert E. Havard, M.D.


This transcript represents the first draft of Robert Havard’s “Pain and Behaviour in Medical Practice,” an appendix to C.S. Lewis’s Problem of Pain. Almost twice the length of the published version, the draft considers various gradations of pain, including brief but severe physical pain,  chronic pain, the weakness of a long illness, and mental pain. The portions of the draft later deleted by Lewis (here indicated by non-bolded type) are often concerned with either the firsthand observations of a medical practitioner or Havard’s musings on the relation between suffering and heroism.

Author Biography

Robert E. Havard, M.D.

"Robert Emlyn Havard was born in 1901 in South Kyme, Lincolnshire. After receiving undergraduate training in
chemistry at Oxford, he went on to study medicine at Cambridge and Guy’s Hospital in London. Over his
career, he held a number of research posts and co-authored over twenty scientic publications in a wide variety of journals: The Lancet, Nature, and the Annals of Tropical Medicine and Parasitology, among others. While Havard’s scientific training primed him for a career in academic medicine, his yearning for a more clinically-oriented position eventually lead him to accept a general practice in Oxford.

Dr. Havard’s association with the Inklings, and notably his friendship with C.S. Lewis, began around 1934 when
he made a house call to treat Lewis’s influenza. In Havard’s reminiscence “Philia: Jack at Ease,” he recounts
that the pair spent “some five minutes discussing his influenza … and then half an hour or more in a discussion
of ethics and philosophy” [1]. The men’s common interests—philosophy, theology, and poetry—set the groundwork for a friendship that would last until Lewis’s death, almost thirty years later." - Adapted from Sarah O'Dell's article on Havard in Catholic Medical Quarterly.