Doctor Lopez

  • Also available as: Dust Jacket Hardcover
  • Published: May 2001
  • Format: Perfect Bound Softcover(B/W)
  • Pages: 144
  • Size: 6x9
  • ISBN: 9780759614369

Dr. Roderigo Lopez was an unexpected choice to be Queen Elizabeth’s personal physician, since she had long insisted that none but English hands would touch any part of her.  Lopez was a Marrano (a Portuguese Jew who’d converted to Christianity) so his appointment can only be attributed to the various intrigues at work within her court.

Scholars of the Tudor age deny that there was any evidence that Lopez was involved in a plot to poison the Queen, the charge that led to his execution.  Doctor Lopez relies more on fact than fiction in telling of this great injustice in English history.


This is my thirteenth day, each dawn thickening my fear.  Better to besiege my mind with unknowns.  I wonder how many times Sarah has come to the gate and been turned away.  What has she told the children?  Has Anthony been expelled from Winchester because of a father in disgrace?  But mostly, I try to fathom the silence of the Queen.

There have been passages beyond a fortnight when she hasn’t sent for me.  But not this time of year.  Winter always brings her a catarrh and with her first spew of phlegm I am summoned.  Assuming it has happened, what has she been told?  That this time it’s her elderly physician who’s indisposed?  Perhaps another has been dispatched in my place, much younger, more recently schooled and modern in method.

I think of worse alternatives.  They who have spun this evil web may have convinced her that I’ve been justly snared.  But their minds could not equal hers and she is always quick to detect the devious.  She’d never believe I’d intend her any harm.  More possible is that I underestimate her desire for Essex and my ethics have undone me.

No.  I must keep faith with her.  Simple explanations are always best.  Hampton Court is the warmest of the palaces and her lungs may be more resilient this year.  She hasn’t yet sent for me.  But she will.  Any day now she will.  The bolt will slide open and Topcliffe or a warder will appear with apologies and a royal decree for my release.

So far it has only been the Tom O’Bedlam who enters.  Having no tongue, his attempts to speak produce a bubbling sound.  But his hands have told me that my cell is larger than most, my mattress softer, my desk a rarity and my window lets in more light than others are granted.  I’m grateful most for the light. It is this writing which preserves my sanity.  I feel slightly feverish today and must stop now.  But there is more to tell.


Elliott Baker was born in 1922 in Buffalo, New York, graduated from Indiana University, and was an infantry rifleman in World War II. His works have been published in numerous countries and languages. These include his novels, A Fine Madness (1964), The Penny Wars (1968), Pocock & Pitt (1971), Klynt’s Law (1976), And We Were Young (1979), Unhealthful Air (1988), and Doctor Lopez (1995). A partial autobiography, Unrequited Loves, was published in 1974 and a collection of essays, Baedolatry, in 1992. He has written for both television and motion pictures (receiving an Emmy nomination for hit teleplay The Entertainer), and his fiction and non-fiction have appeared in publications ranging form GQ Magazine to The Elizabethan Review. In 1997, Indiana University awarded him its highest honor given to an alumnus, The President’s Medal for Excellence “for making a positive and profound impact in the literary field.”


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