The Knife Man

I finished reading The Knife Man, a biography of 18th-century physician, John Hunter, the father of modern surgery. It’s a fascinating portrait of an obsessive personality whose work was a vital foundation for subsequent giants like Charles Darwin and Edward Jenner. The subtitle of the paperback edition –“Blood, Body Snatching, and the Birth of Modern Surgery”– hints at the historical setting, a time of religious orthodoxy when medicine was practiced without pain killers and gross anatomy studied sans refrigeration.

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