From Robert E. Spiller's review of Anna Robeson Burr's Weir Mitchell: His Life and Letters (1929) in American Literature:
This was, therefore, probably the right sort of book to write at this time, and it is safe to say that, unless the same sources are again available and are again sorted over and reprinted, the present biography will not be superseded, even though to its lack of balance we must add the faults of unnecessary bulk, indefinite bibliographical entries, and a totally inadequate index. Thus it is indispensable to any library which contains one or more novels by this distinguished and kindly old doctor who divided his attention among nervous women, salmon, and fiction. (314)
Were I to rank critical slams, this one would be somewhere in the vicinity of Fish's masterpiece, albeit for different reasons. Fish merely denigrated Burton Weber for his contributions to Milton studies. Spiller attacks the very idea that someone would want to study Mitchell, much less compile an overlong, inadequately indexed collection of his autobiographical fragments and letters.
Not that I agree with him, obviously. In 1930, when Spiller wrote this review, the critical community took Mitchell at his word. When asked whether he "would rather be remembered for [his] literary work or [his] medical work," Mitchell didn't hesitate, replying "Medical, of course!" And in the literary community, he would be remembered for his medical work—albeit a very small portion of it, popularized by a patient who'd failed to respond to his treatment.
When I started this chapter, I did so not to defend Mitchell but to right the historical injustice done to him by Charlotte Perkins Gilman. Why? I'm not entirely sure, but it seems to be the defining quality of my work. The problem is, it may land my work far outside the critical consensus and unlikely to be engaged by people working in the scholarly mainstream. A figure must not merely be but be thought important. I can easily demonstrate the former, but as the Spiller slams home, the latter may prove far more difficult.