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The Chirurgeon's Apprentice

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Since we last featured the Chirurgeon's Apprentice in the 08-12-2016 Scout Report, medical historian Lindsey Fitzharris has published the book, The Butchering Art: Joseph Lister's Quest to Transform the Grisly World of Victorian Medicine. The book recently garnered the Pen/E.O Wilson Literary Science Writing Prize. Visitors can learn more about her book-- and the sometimes sordid history of medicine-- on Fitzharris's blog.

According to Lindsey Fitzharris, a medical historian with a Ph.D. in the History of Science, Medicine, and Technology from the University of Oxford, "[a]t the beginning of the 17th century, 'chirurgeons' [surgeons] were closely related to barbers and other craftsmen who learned their trade through apprenticeships." Fitzharris's website, which is not for the faint of heart, chronicles this early history of surgery before the field became an established medical practice. On the site's blog, readers can learn about the history of bloodletting and cadaver dissections. Readers can also read the story of Mary I's "phantom pregnancy," discover the toxic ingredients of seventeenth-century make-up, or hear Fitzharris's reflections on changing views of death throughout history. This website also includes a link to Fitzharris's YouTube series, Under the Knife, a collection of short videos about medical history. Instructors and parents should note that this website contains some mature content, specifically relating to the violent treatment of alleged criminals and the history of sexuality.
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GEM Subject
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Scout Publication
Date of Scout Publication 2018-03-09
Archived Scout Publication URL https://scout.wisc.edu/report/2018/0309

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