Medical Theory, Surgical Practice: Studies in the History of Surgery, 1st Edition (Paperback) book cover

Medical Theory, Surgical Practice

Studies in the History of Surgery, 1st Edition

Edited by Christopher Lawrence


338 pages

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Paperback: 9780367030537
pub: 2020-05-30
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Originally published in 1992, Medical Theory, Surgical Practice examines medical and surgical concepts of disease and their relation to the practice of surgery, in particular historical settings. It emphasises that understanding concepts of disease does not just include recounting explicit accounts of disease given by medical men. It needs an analysis of the social relations embedded in such concepts. In doing this, the contributors illustrate how surgery rose from a relatively humble place in seventeenth century life to being seen as one of the great achievements of late Victorian culture. They examine how medical theory and surgical practices relate to social contexts, how physical diagnosis entered medicine and whether anaesthesia and Lister’s antiseptic techniques really did cause a revolution in surgical practice.

Table of Contents

List of Figures

List of Contributors


1. Democratic, Divine and Heroic: The History and Historiography of Surgery, Christopher Lawrence

2. Seventeenth-Century English Surgery: The Casebook of Joseph Binns, Lucinda McCray Beier

3. Surgery and Scrophula, Roger French

4. Giovanni Battista Morgagni and Eighteenth-Century Physical Examination, Malcolm Nicolson

5. Physiological Principles in the Surgical Writings of John Hunter, Stephen Jacyna

6. Practising on Principle: Joseph Lister and the Germ Theories of Disease, Christopher Lawrence and Richard Dixey

7. From Conservative to Radical Surgery in Late Nineteenth-Century America, Gert H. Brieger

8. Knowledge of Bodies or Bodies of Knowledge? Surgeons and Anatomists and Rectal Surgery, 1830-1985, Lindsay Granshaw

9. Experiment and Experience in Anaesthesia: Alfred Goodman Levy and Chloroform Death 1910-1960, Christopher Lawrence

10. The Ambiguous Artefact: Surgical Instruments and the Surgical Past, Ghislaine Lawrence


About the Series

Routledge Library Editions: History of Medicine

The volumes in this set, originally published between 1926 and 1995, draw together research by leading academics in the area of medicine and history, and provide a rigorous examination of related key issues. The volume examines the advancement of medicine throughout history from medicine in antiquity to advancements in science during the Victorian period, the set looks at the rise of the medical profession, how medical journals have adapted and contributed to modern medicine, midwifery and surgical practices, whilst also exploring medical history and advancements throughout the world. This set will be of particular interest to academics of history, medicine, sociology and anthropology respectively.

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Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
HISTORY / General