Nature has an interesting article entitled “History: Great myths die hard“. It talks about how these great myths of famous scientists evolved, why they did, and how the truth is often quite different to what people believe.
“John Snow‘s ending of London’s 1854 cholera outbreak, Joseph Lister‘s development of antiseptic surgery, Alexander Fleming‘s invention of the drug penicillin — the history of science and medicine is full of such stories of great deeds by heroic figures.” (Nature)
The article goes into detail about Joseph Meister, and uses him as an example to dissect and understand these myths. It’s really interesting to read the true story behind the myth, and makes you think about what else in history is exaggerated (probably most of it…). Onwards!