A bibliography of the publications of Cicely Saunders

Published on: Author: David Clark Leave a comment

When I first became seriously interested in the life and works of Cicely Saunders, back in 1995, I asked Dame Cicely for a copy of her CV. I noticed and was duly impressed that there were even a half-dozen publications listed from the decade before St Christopher’s Hospice opened, in 1967. I had no idea then that the CV was a gross understatement of the published record and it was not until I began delving into her work more earnestly that I came to appreciate the full importance of her publication history.

Cicely Saunders’ first published paper was written while she was a medical student and appeared in the St Thomas’s Hospital Gazette in 1958. Her most recent publication (a translation of the book Watch with Me) appeared in 2013, eight years after her death. It is likely that further re-prints and translations will surface from time to time in the future.

From the late 1990s I began piecing together a full record of her publications. Never having held an academic post, she was not particularly assiduous in recording her outputs. In time I discovered that the first decade of her publishing career contained almost ten times the number of works listed on her CV. I currently estimate there are in total 234 publications in her name, some with co-authors.

For me, piecing together the bibliography has been a labour of love. For a while I was assisted in this by postgraduate student and hospice nurse Ruth Ashfield, who turned up a number of new finds. I also had the idea that the bibliography should be annotated, providing a brief description of each item. Two decades’ worth of publications have been tackled in that way and appeared in the journal Palliative Medicine some while ago (see below). I hope eventually to annotate the whole set of her works.

Meanwhile, I am engaged in writing a new biography of Cicely Saunders. By the end of the third chapter, currently in progress, we will reach her first publication, of 1958. It seems now is a good moment to make the full Cicely Saunders bibliography available more publicly.

To that end we have placed the bibliography on our End of Life Studies website. It contains a chronological list of publications by Cicely Saunders, some co-authored with others. The types of publication range from journal articles, reviews and letters, to authored and edited books and include pamphlets, newspaper and magazine articles,

It is a remarkable set of works and one which continues to repay close reading. I hope it will assist anyone who wants to delve deeper into the published outputs of such an important figure in the evolution of modern hospice and palliative care.

Of course, if you know of something I have missed – then please get in touch to let me know!

David Clark


Clark, D. (1999) An annotated bibliography of the publications of Cicely Saunders – 2: 1968–77. Palliative Medicine, 13(6), pp. 485-501. (doi:10.1191/026921699677249209)

Clark, D. (1998) An annotated bibliography of the publications of Cicely Saunders – 1: 1958-67. Palliative Medicine, 12(3), pp. 181-193. (doi:10.1191/026921698678023443)

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