Big Book Energy

Bonus Episode S3E3 - The Knife Man

March 27, 2021 Jennifer Fain and Paige Downey Season 3
Big Book Energy
Bonus Episode S3E3 - The Knife Man
Show Notes

For this episode we brought in an expert!  Jennifer's compatriot from graduate school, Ryan, joined us to discuss The Knife Man: Blood, Body Snatching, and the Birth of Modern Surgery, which focuses on the wild life and times of surgeon John Hunter. Both gruesome and fascinating in equal parts, you won't want to miss out on this one. 

The Knife Man, Wendy Moore

Folio Facts: This month Paige chose the Book of Kells as our Folio Facts topic. The epitome of medieval illuminated manuscript, the exact origins of this book remain mysterious. Today you can find it on display at Trinity College in Dublin. If you can’t make it to Ireland any time soon, you can also view the Book of Kells online.

Discussion Questions

  • What is your favorite (or horrifying?) medical practice/belief/procedure you learned about in the book?
  • How can we reconcile Hunter’s incredible contributions to the medical field with his more unsavory actions?
    • Should Charles Byrnes bones be returned to Ireland?
  • Was the “Hunterian Revolution” inevitable? In other words, would the effects of the Enlightenment have eventually led to people combining the study of human anatomy and surgery with a corresponding move away from Galenic practices?

Ryan’s Book Recommendations

  • The Dead Shall Not Rest, Tessa Harris
  • The History of the Royal Society of Medicine, Penelope Hunting
  • Dr. Mütter’s Marvels, Cristin O’Keefe Aptowicz

Other Links mentioned in the Episode

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