Death, Disease and Dissection: The Life of a Surgeon-Apothecary 1750-1850

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Media: BOOK - paperback, 184 pages
Author: S. Grogan
Year: 2017
ISBN: 9781473823532
Other: b&w photos, appendixes, bibliog, index
Publisher: Pen & Sword

Imagine performing surgery on a patient without anaesthetic, administering medicine that could kill or cure. Picture dissecting mouldering cadavers purchased from the Resurrection Man ... welcome to the world of the Surgeon-Apothecary.

During the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries, significant changes occurred in medicine. New treatments were developed and medical training improved. But with a doctors' fee out of the reach of the ordinary people, most relied on the advice of their local apothecary. These men were the general practitioners of their time, making up and prescribing pills and potions for everything from toothache to childbirth.

Many famous names trained as surgeon-apothecaries, including the poet John Keats, who worked at Guys Hospital in London. 

'Death, Disease and Dissection' examines the vital role these men played their training, the role they played within their communities, the treatments they offered, both quack and reputable against the shocking sights and sounds in hospitals and operating theatres of the time.

Suzie Grogan transports readers through 100 years of medical history, offering a picture of the daily life of a surgeon-apothecary from the making of pills and mixing potions to tooth-drawing and blood-letting. This book reveals the world of medicine at the time in all its gory detail, exploring the impact of illness and death and bringing the experiences of the surgeon apothecary vividly to life.

1. The structure of the medical profession 1750-1850
2. The great Voluntary Hospital movement
3. Digging for dissection - feeding the horrors of the anatomy table
4. The rise of the General Practitioner
5. What could the surgeon-apothecary treat? Eighteenth and nineteenth century medical treatments
6. Quack Quack - the medical profession and a battle for the pennies of the poor patent medicines
7. 'His genius gain'd such trust ...' some good men of their time
8. Three men of Guy's - Keats, Stephens and Thackrah
9. The Weeks letters - a country practice, a medical dynasty
Appendix 1. Treatments available to the surgeon-apothecary
Appendix 2. Some common complaints
Appendix 3. Women in medicine

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Death, Disease and Dissection: The Life of a Surgeon-Apothecary 1750-1850


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