The Ellard Collection

Middle age

John Ellard



The late Dr John Ellard, revered former Editor of Modern Medicine of Australia and Medicine Today and a distinguished psychiatrist, wrote many essays in the 1970s and 1980s on society’s most controversial and vexing issues. Many were published in Modern Medicine, and later a selection from this and other journals were chosen by Professor Gordon Parker, then Professor of Psychiatry at the University of New South Wales, for publication in 1989 as the book Some Rules for Killing People.1 By popular request, we plan to reproduce selected essays from time to time. The first of these, ‘Middle age’, originally appeared in a 1983 issue of Modern Medicine of Australia.

Article Extract

We are told that in spring our fancy turns to love, but where will it turn in autumn? We begin our journey with an endless prospect before us, but as the years pass the mountains close in and cast their shadows, and the horizon, once unattainable, is now visible and final. Middle age is when we first look back over our shoulders and realise that our expedition is halfway there.

Picture credit: © Barry Olive, 2017