Book Review

By Neil Tessler ND, DHANP

"If thirty two conversations with thirty four British Homeopaths, spanning almost five hundred pages, intrigues you, this is your book. Naturally it will be of particular interest to the Brits, where it has been received with a lot of enthusiasm, but of course, the vast majority of the issues that are addressed are of relevance to all of us. Besides, who couldn't gain something from the insights of so many well-seasoned practitioners? Only a few are well known outside the UK, but many are highly regarded there, and this is the first chance the vast majority of us have had to hear their thoughts. England has a leg up in the sense that the first great wave of modern homeopathy was a tad larger and a tad earlier. Sometimes it is the historical material that is interesting and mirrors the American experience: the new wave of interest in the seventies, the development of schools (they were definitely somewhat earlier in this regard), the advent of Vithoulkas, followed by a decline in his direct visits, followed by a wave of new influences and a simultaneous backlash. As you can imagine in a volume of this size, there is just about every angle and in between. In fact, this is not only a great repository of modern British homeopathic history, but is loaded with prescribing tips and food for thought that can be appreciated by anyone. Light reading is a blessing always and here there is a lot to be appreciated here without straining the brain. Recommended."

From Similllimum, the journal for HANP, the Homeopathic Academy of Naturopathic Physicians in America, Volume XX Summer/Fall 2007.

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Contact Rowena Ronson direct on 01727 840162 or email me.


Looking Back Moving Forward

Rowena J. Ronson

Food for Thought Publications

London 2007

Paperback 498 pages £33.00

ISBN: 978-0-9547033-3-2

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Picture of Martin MilesIn memory of Martin Eric Miles, FSHom who died, aged 60, on 27 September 2007, please read this free download of his chapter. We always have and always will, have so much to learn from him and so much to be grateful for.

Looking Back Moving Forward by Rowena Ronson

LOOKING BACK MOVING FORWARD is an essential and unique textbook for students and practitioners of homeopathy and for those interested in homeopathy.

The book is LOOKING BACK over the last forty years at our renaissance as our great teachers and practitioners share their vast collective experience and it also asks and answers many questions about homeopathy´s journey MOVING FORWARD through the 21st Century.

The book traces homeopath Rowena Ronson´s journey in conversation with thirty four of the UK´s great teachers and practitioners of homeopathy.

CONVERSATIONS WITH . . . . . . . . . .

Linda Gwillim | Bill Rumble | Brian Kaplan | Myriam Shivadikar | Ellen Kramer | Peter Chappell | Robert Davidson | Misha Norland | Annette Gamblin | Francis Treuherz | Charles Wansbrough | Jerome Whitney | Mike Bridger | Dion Tabrett | Ernest Roberts | Gordon Sambidge | Sheilah Creasy | Kate Chatfield | Roger Savage | Subrata Kumar Banerjea | Yubraj Sharma | Kaaren Whitney | Anne Waters | Rebecca Preston | Martin Miles | Carol Wise | Linda Razzell | Nicky Pool | Lesley Gregerson | Sue Sternberg | Lionel Milgrom | Barbara Harwood | Simon Taffler | Jeremy Sherr.


´This book is a record of my conversations with thirty-four of the UK´s great teachers and practitioners of homeopathy; a journey that opened my eyes in so many ways and a journey that I am excited to share with you. Within its pages hopefully you will find some nuggets to inspire you as well as provide you with an opportunity to observe the roots of the renaissance of homeopathy from the sixties through to the present day. My wish is for discussions to arise from these conversations and for us all to pull together as a profession to secure a continued and expanding future for homeopathy in the UK.´

Rowena J Ronson

‘Well done on the review! I have not completely finished it but find myself rereading some conversations! It is indeed a very good read; thank you Rowena’

Meriem B Laouiti

‘A wonderful and fascinating insight into the lives and thoughts of many teachers and practitioners of our healing art based in the UK; a useful guide for students and practitioners of homeopathy and a most enjoyable read.’

Michelle Shine, Homeopath

‘This book is an enthusiastic synthesis of the eclecticism of the modern British homeopathic scene.’

Robin Cowan, Homeopath

‘I had never met or even spoken to Rowena when I agreed to help edit this book, but through reading and listening to so many interviews I felt honoured when she chose to include me in her project. She has boundless enthusiasm, a wonderful sense of humour, an endlessly enquiring mind and she infuses everything with her love of homeopathy. This is a very personal journey made by Rowena; it is her story, but like all the best stories, it is relevant to us all.’

Rebecca Knorr, Homeopath

‘I enjoyed this book, thought it very well written and learned a lot about the homeopathy profession, the various forms in which it is being practised and taught, and who and what is influencing the homeopathy of tomorrow.’

Jill Leuw BA (Hons) OU Barrister at Law

‘Thanks for your work on this book - it is a good addition to the reference material we have, and well worth a read by any budding (or practicing) homeopath.’

Karen Allen, CCH (homeopath in America)

‘I think it is excellent! I couldn't put it down.’

Mike Bridger, Principal Contemporary College of Homoeopathy in Exeter and Orion advanced training course in London

‘Looking Back, Moving Forward - not only a fascinating read, but an indispensable guide to finding a homeopath - thanks Rowena!’

Esme Kohll, RSHom

‘I have found your book fascinating and enlightening.’

Ernest Roberts, RSHom

‘I finished it last night and loved it. It was so informative and gave such an insight into the history of homeopathy in this country. It was great to read such top homeopaths' tips and methods on prescribing. I have made many notes and will refer back to the book frequently.’

Jane Perry, RSHom

‘I got the book last week and have taken some time out to have a right good read through. I think it's an absolute cracker... what a huge amount of effort you must have put in... brilliant! I shall be heartily recommending it to my students before putting it in the library so that they can have a good look themselves. I hope you sell zillions of copies - you deserve to.’

Steve Smith RSHom, Principal, South Downs School of Homeopathy

‘Just to say that I am enjoying your book enormously, in fact its quite compulsive reading!’

Caroline Eyles RSHom, Research Fellow at the University of Southhampton

‘The book looks great - what a very interesting collection of souls and their reflections.’

Dr Charles J Forsyth, MBBS, MFHom

‘The book is superb! A document that will go down along side Julian Winston's 'The Faces of Homeopathy' as a reference to the evolution of UK homeopathy in the late 20th and early 21st. It is also a gold mine for those who wish to research various aspects of homeopathy during that period as well.’

Jerome Whitney, Homeopathy Historian

‘Wonderful book, can hardly put it down.’

Kaaren Whitney, RSHom

‘I love your book and am dipping into it frequently.’

Misha Norland RSHom, The School of Homeopathy

On being interviewed for the homoeopathic book: ‘Chapter 20 in the book, Looking Back, Moving Forward: telephone interview. Walking in the tree circle, reception clear. Inspiration from roots, anchored in the past, and from shimmering light, sprinting in-between, behind each leaf individually fashioned, part of the whole. A thirty-five year review, of preparing the soil, replanting the seeds, sowed many lifetimes before. Watching the growth, branching out, pruning at times, producing fruit given in exchange for the picking. Exhilaration at the end but I thought I was Chapter 21.’

Kaaren Whitney 28th August 2007

‘I sat and read the whole thing cover to cover over a week or so, and I found the interview style really accessible - in fact the passages I liked best were where you really got into a good conversation with the person - much like that "Families" book by John Cleese and Robyn Skinner - it takes some getting used to, but then when you get into it, you wouldn't have it any other way! If anything, I could have done with even more of that - get those philosophical debates going! But maybe that's volume two! The book is a real moment in time Rowena, and of a great deal of interest to so many people for so many reasons.’

Ruth Derham, homeopath and lecturer at Purton House

‘Honestly I have not been able to put it down, although painting a room last week, did stop me, but I am now going to bed early to read the last interview. As I said when I was typing the transcripts, it was a weird experience feeling like a fly on the wall during a private conversation. This intimacy and spontaneity has carried through to the final work, which is part of the book’s charm. What I find so key about the book is that you have spoken to those who have been leaders in the recent resurgence of homeopathy in the UK, from those who learnt at Thomas Maugham’s feet through to Yubraj doing it by himself. To hear their stories is inspiring, fascinating, and their views on homeopathy and they way they practice most enlightening. This book will prove to be an important record of our current important practitioners and teachers, who link us to the past, and have taught future generations, who they themselves will be retiring in the next ten years and giving up the mantle.Spot on with looking back for us to look forward. Congratulations again on completing this project, in such a short time. Thank you for letting me be part of it’

Alyson Larkworthy, homeopath and transcriber on the book

‘I loved it. My own homeopath is Nicky Pool and I loved reading what she had to say and the way in which it was presented. A very readable book. Thank you.’

Rachel Mccallum, homeopath and transcriber on the book

‘Thank you so much for sending me a copy of your new book as one of your transcribers. We have just spent a very late half term in Wales in the Forest of Dean in which I made it my project to read your book. I finished it last night and loved it. It was so informative and gave such an insight into the history of homeopathy in this country. It was great to read such top homeopaths' tips and methods on prescribing. I have made many notes and will refer back to the book frequently. I do hope that it becomes a book on the reading list of colleges as it does give such a good overview of homeopathy over here. Many, many thanks for putting all of this information together. I do feel inspired to move forward!’

Jane Perry, homeopath and transcriber on the book

Your book has captured the voices and the spirit of a really extraordinary period of British homoeopathy. For me particularly the interviews with the practitioners who were around at the end of the seventies and beginning of the eighties, the real pioneers who hoisted non-medical homeopathy out of the "lay" and into the "professional", is so valuable and so good to record before sadly, as with Martin Miles, some of these people pass on. I think you have captured the personalities of these practitioners so well - I can really hear them talking through the page. And there are some great vignettes. The image of Ernest Roberts driving his horse and cart to London to sell bread is particularly brilliant! I have had a lot of fun reading it!

Robert Bridge, RSHom

If you want to learn about the history of British homeopathy during the last three decades of the 20th-century then get this book. If you enjoy learning history (and philosophy) from the people who made that history, then buy this book. If you enjoy a fast-paced, page-turning read... oh heck, just buy this book!

Jay Yasgur, R.Ph. M.Sc.

At long last I’ve finished your lovely book – a most enjoyable read. It has been my bed time reading – a chapter a night – and with 32 chapters that has taken quite some time. The beauty of it was the sheer variety of the interviews – each night a complete surprise, ranging from the conventional to the downright wacky. As a mere Dentist, I have long wondered what goes on in the professional Homeopath’s mind and this book certainly deals with that query. All in all, a fantastic achievement and a very enjoyable read too.

Dr David Horobin

‘I highly recommend Rowena's book to homeopaths of all levels of experience. These interviews with homeopaths with such a broad range of views and approaches were very interesting to me. British homeopathy has a rich heritage and the people in this book are a good cross section of the current product of that. Some like Jeremy Sherr, will be familiar to North Americans and other will not. However they all have a huge amount of experience and a love of homeopathy in common. In some ways I see the evolution of the homeopathic community in the UK as being ahead of that of ours over here. There is a lot that can be learned from what has happened there and this book provides some insight into that. However of most interest to me was being able to read about all these practitioners experience of being a homeopath. You are bound to find something you will identify with, learn from and be inspired by. Be prepared to have some of your beliefs challenged too as this is an eclectic group that don't all necessarily toe the party line. There are some fine minds amongst them though and beliefs and insights are communicated clearly and with conviction. All in all a really good read.’

Robin Logan, RSHom now based in Canada

I'm a 4th year student at Purton House and would like to purchase your book. A friend lent it to me and it is now required bedtime reading!! You have done such a wonderful job I only wish I had it when I started five years ago. You have de-mystified homeopathy for me, thank you.

Kim Purdy, fourth year student Purton House, England

I am a very happy owner of your book and have recommended it to many. I even asked them to get their own copy because I keep dipping in and out of mine and wanted it to be in my bookshelf. Good luck and thanks for a brilliant read.

Elisabet Agar LCPH, practitioner in SW London, England

When I first started dipping into this book I was afraid. I could feel fear in my body. As a fourth year homeopathy student I am continuing to strive towards a better understanding of this complex world that is homeopathy. And whilst I already knew that different practitioners work in different ways with homeopathy, to start with, this book threw up a disturbing number of ideas. Maybe the potency was a little high for me to begin with! Soon though, it was nourishing me and exciting me. I love to have a view of the big picture and this book provided that. It was fantastic to read the differing stories of various long-term homoeopaths and to learn something about the way they work. I loved hearing these ideas in the homeopath's own words. I found myself with paper in hand collecting quotes and nuggets of wisdom. My learning was enhanced and there were 'wow' moments and times when I sighed with relief. There is one quote that I have put on my window sill in front of my desk where I work on cases and on my fourth year project: 'Intellectually, morally, emotionally, it is always as difficult or as easy as you make it' F.Treuherz

Margaret Haynes, fourth year student Purton House, England

I am totally enjoying reading your book. The opportunity to "meet" your interviewees is priceless. I think it would immeasurably benefit every student of homeopathy to begin to sort out the various subtle (and not so subtle) differences among the teachers. The resonances you illuminate are so helpful! Thank you.

Carole Maslich, DHom(UK), practitioner in the States

Rowena, I said to myself I would not pick up a book on homoeopathy over Xmas and well, when your book arrived I just had to keep dipping into it! I loved it, I loved your style of interviewing and loved reading all the different views and responses of the different homeopaths you interviewed. I underlined many comments, quotes and learning aspects of this book. I so wish I had read this book in my first year - imagine the material I would have had for essays etc. I have passed these comments onto both Jonathan and Nicky (of Purton House) as this book is a must for all students. Thank you so much for sending it to me and I know it will be a useful tool for me.

Jane Ellingsworth, fourth year student Purton House, England

I am really enjoying reading it and it has been invaluable in giving me insight into the prescribing styles of your various interviewees so thanks a million!

Jill Roarty, fourth year student Purton House, England

I am not a homoeopath. I am not a student of homoeopathy. I am what you might like to call 'an enlightened user of homoeopathy'. I also encourage others, where there is an inclination, to take advice from homoeopaths.

This book explains to someone such as myself, the differences in treatment experienced by patients. It demonstrates that specialists exist, not only on the level of the dis-ease, but also in terms of how a patient's psyche can be approached.

With 32 interviews and styles of homoeopathy to choose from, there will be a few that resonate with the reader and armed with this, we the untrained, are empowered to ask the questions that will result in finding ourselves the right homoeopath.

Diane Garfield Reidy

Thank you so much for sending me your book - its fantastic! What an insight into how homeopaths got into the profession and how they work. Barbara Harwood is my current favourite lifestory - amazing! I almost think your book should be pre-reading for starting a homeopathic course so you can get to grips with who’s who.

Rebecca Sperrin, fourth year student, Purton House, England

Looking Back Moving Forward

For further information or to order your copy of LOOKING BACK MOVING FORWARD contact Rowena Ronson direct on 01727 840162 or email Rowena.