The Life of Pasteur – René Vallery-Radot


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Whether to admire more the man or his method, the life or work, is left for the reader to decide. Among the researches that have made the name of Louis Pasteur a household word, three are of the first importance: a knowledge of the true nature of the processes in fermentation; a knowledge of the chief maladies which have scourged man and animals; a knowledge of the measures by which either the body may be protected against these diseases, or the poison neutralized when once within the body.



L’ceuvre de Pasteur est admirable ; elle montre son genie, maia il faut avoir vecu dans son intimite pour connaitre toute la bonte de son coeur. DR. Roux

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CHAPTER I 1822-1843

  • Origin of the Pasteur Family, Jean Joseph Pasteur, a Conscript in 1811;
  • Sergeant-major in the 3rd Infantry Regiment; a Knight of the Legion of Honour; his Marriage, 5; the Tannery at Dole
  • Birth of Louis Pasteur, his Childhood and Youth
  • Studies in Arbois College
  • Departure for Paris
  • Arrival in Paris; the Barbet Boarding School
  • Home Sickness
  • Return to Jura
  • Pasteur a Portrait Painter; enters Besanon Royal College; a Bachelier es Lettres, a Preparation Master, 14 ; his Readings, 15. Friendship with Chappuis, 18; a Bachelier es Sciences, 20; Pasteur admitted to the Ecole Normale, 22; Sorbonne Lectures, Impression produced by J. B. Dumas, 21.

CHAPTER II 1844-1849

  • First Crystallographic Researches
  • Pasteur a Curator in Balard’a Laboratory, works with Auguste Laurent
  • Chemistry and Physics Theses
  • Pasteur reads a Paper at the Academic des Sciences
  • February days x 1848, 37
  • Molecular Dissymmetry; J. J. Biot’s Emotion at Pasteur’s first Discovery
  • Pasteur Professor of Physics at Dijon
  • Professor of Chemistry at the Strasburg Faculty, his Frienfl Bertin
  • M. Laurent, Rector of the Strasburg Academy
  • Pasteur’s Marriage

CHAPTER III 1850-1854

  • Disgrace of tlie Strasburg Rector
  • Letter from Biot to Pasteur’s Father
  • Letter from J. B. Dumas
  • Interview with Mitscher- lich
  • Pasteur in quest of Racemic Acid, in Germany, Austria and Bohemia
  • Pasteur a Knight of the Legion of Honour
  • Biot’s Congratulations
  • Proposed Work

CHAPTER IV 1855-1859

  • Pasteur Dean of the new Lille Faculty; his Teaching
  • First Studies on Fermentations
  • First Candidature for the Academy of Sciences
  • Lactic Fermentation
  • Pasteur Administrator of the Ecole Normale
  • Alcoholic Fermentation
  • Death of Pasteur’s eldest Daughter.

CHAPTER V 1860-1864

  • So-called spontaneous Generation
  • Polemics and Experiments
  • Renewed Candidature for the Academic des Sciences
  • Lectures on Crystallography
  • Pasteur elected a Member of the Academie des Sciences
  • Conversation with Napoleon III
  • Lecture at the Sorbonne on so-called spontaneous Generation
  • Pasteur and the Students of the Ecole Normale
  • Discussions raised by the question of spontaneous Generation
  • Studies on Wine

CHAPTER VI 1865-1870

  • The Silkworm Disease; Pasteur sent to Alais
  • Death of Jean Joseph Pasteur
  • Return to Paris, 121; Pasteur’s Article on J. B. Dumas’ Edition of Lavoisier’s Works
  • Death of his Daughter Camille
  • Candidature of Ch. Robin for the Academie des Sciences
  • Letters exchanged between Ste. Beuve and Pasteur
  • The Cholera
  • Pasteur at Compiegne Palace
  • Return to the Gard; Pasteur’s Collaborators
  • Death of his Daughter Cecile
  • Letter to Duruy, 131. Publication of the Studies on Wine
  • Pasteur’s Article on Claude Bernard’s Work
  • Pasteur’s Work in the South of France
  • Letter from Duruy
  • Pasteur a Laureate of the Exhibition; solemn Distribution of Rewards
  • Ste. Beuve at the Senate
  • Disturbance at the Ecole Normale
  • Pasteur’s Letter to Napoleon III
  • Lecture on the Manufacture of Vinegar at Orleans
  • Council of Scientists at the Tuileries
  • Studies on Silkworm Diseases (continued)
  • Heating of Wines
  • Paralytic Stroke; Illness; private Reading
  • Enlarge- ment of the Laboratory
  • Pasteur in the South
  • Success of his Method of opposing Silkworm Diseases
  • Pasteur at Villa Vicentina, Austria
  • Interview with Liebig.

CHAPTER VII 1870-1872

  • Pasteur in Strasburg; the War; Pasteur at Arbois
  • The Academie des Sciences during the Siege of Paris
  • Pasteur returns his Doctor’s Diploma to the Bonn Faculty of Medicine
  • Retreat of Bourbaki’s Army Corps; Pasteur at Pontarlier
  • Pasteur at Lyons
  • ” Why France found no superior Men in the Hours of Peril”
  • Proposed Studies
  • Professorship offered to Pasteur at Pisa; his Refusal
  • The Prussians at Arbois
  • Pasteur and his Pupil Raulin
  • Pasteur at Clermont Ferrand; stays with his Pupil M. Duclaux
  • Studies on Beer
  • Visit to London Breweries
  • Renewed Discussions at the Academie des Sciences

CHAPTER VIII 1872-1877

  • Pasteur elected to the Academie de Medecine
  • General Condition of Medicine
  • Surgery before Pasteur
  • Influence of his Work
  • Letter from Lister
  • Debates at the Academie de J Medecine; Science and Religion
  • National Testimonial
  • Pasteur a Candidate for the Senate
  • Speech at the Milan Congress of Sericiculture
  • Letter from Tyndall
  • Dis- cussion with Dr. Bastian

CHAPTER IX 1877-1879

  • Charbon, or Splenic Fever; Pasteur studies it
  • Traditional Medicine and Pastorian Doctrines
  • Progress of Surgery
  • The word Microbe invented; renewed Attacks against Pasteur
  • Charbon given to Hens experiment before the Academie de Medecine
  • Pasteur’s Note on the Germ Theory
  • Campaign of Researches on Charbon
  • Critical Examination of a posthumous Note by Claude Bernard
  • Pasteur in the Hospitals
  • Puerperal Fever

CHAPTER X 1880-1882

  • Chicken Cholera
  • Attenuation of the Virus
  • Suggested Researches on the bubonic Plague
  • The Share of Earthworms in the Development of Charbon; an Incident at the Academie de Medecine
  • The Vaccine of Charbon; public Experiment at Pouilly le Fort on the Vaccination of Splenic Fever
  • First Experiments on Hydrophobia
  • Death of Sainte-Claire Deville; Pasteur’s Speech
  • Pasteur at the London Medical Congress; Virchow and Anti-vivisection
  • Yellow Feve; Pasteur at Pauillac.

CHAPTER XI 1882-1884

  • Pasteur elected a Member of the Academie Fra^aise; his Opinions on Positivism; J. B. Dumas and Nisard, his Sponsors; Pasteur welcomed by Renan into the Academie Frangaise
  • Homage from Melun, from Aubenas; Pasteur at Nimes and at Montpellier
  • Speech of J. B. Dumas; Pasteur’s Answer
  • Pasteur at the Geneva Conference of Hygiene
  • Studies on the Rouget of Pigs Journey to Bollene
  • Typhoid f Fever and the Champions of old Medical Methods
  • Pasteur and the Turin Veterinary School
  • Marks of Gratitude from Agriculturists; Pasteur at Aurillac
  • Another Testimonial of national Gratitude; a commemorative Plate on the House where Pasteur was born; his Speech at the Ceremony
  • Cholera; French Mission to Alexandria
  • Death of Thuillier
  • J. B. Dumas’ last Letter to Pasteur
  • Third Centenary of the University of Edinburgh the French Delegation; Ovation to Pasteur; Pasteur’s Speech.

CHAPTER XII 1884-1885

  • The Hydrophobia Problem; preventive Inoculations on Dogs
  • Experiments on Hydrophobia verified by a Commission
  • The Copenhagen Medical Congress, Pasteur in Denmark
  • Installation at Villeneuve l’Etang of a Branch Establishment of Pasteur’s Laboratory
  • Former Remedies against Hydrophobia
  • Kennels at Villeneuve l’Etang

CHAPTER XIII 1885-1888

  • First Antirabic Inoculation on Man; the little Alsatian Boy, Joseph Meister
  • Pasteur at Arbois; his Speech for the Welcome of Joseph Bertrand, succeeding J. B. Dumas at the Academie Fran9aise
  • Perraud the Sculptor
  • Inoculation of the Shepherd Jupille; the Discovery of the Preventive Treatment of Rabies announced to the Academie des Sciences and the Academie de Medecine
  • Death of Louise Pelletier; Pasteur’s Solicitude for inoculated Patients
  • Foundation of the Pasteur Institute; the Russians from Smolensk; English Commission for the Verification of the Inoculations against Hydrophobia
  • Fete at the Trocadero
  • Temporary Buildings in the Rue Vauquelin for the Treatment of Hydrophobia
  • Ill-health of Pasteur; his Stay at Bordighera
  • Foundation of the Annals of the Pasteur Institute
  • Discussions on Rabies at the Academie de Medecine
  • Earthquake at Bordighera
  • Pasteur returns to France
  • Report of the English Commission on the Treatment of Rabies
  • Pasteur elected Permanent Secretary of the Academie des Sciences; his Resignation
  • Inauguration of the Pasteur Institute

CHAPTER XIV 1889-1895

  • Influence of Pasteur’s Labours (his Jubilee; Speech)
  • Pasteur’s Name given to a District in Canada and to a Village in Algeria
  • Diphtheria, M. Boux’ Studies in Serotherapy; Pasteur at Lille; Lecture by M. Roux on Serotherapy; repeated at the Buda-Pesth Congress
  • Subscription for the Organization of the Antidiphtheritic Treatment
  • Pasteur’s Disciples
  • Pasteur’s Illness; Visit from Alexandre Dumas; Visit from former Ecole Normale Students
  • Pasteur refuses a German Decoration
  • Conversations with Chappuis
  • Departure for Villeneuve 1’Etang; last Weeks
  • Project for a Pasteur Hospital
  • Death of Pasteur
  • Index

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