Spend the evening with medical historian (and IWU alum) Lindsey Fitzharris as she sheds light on the brutal and bloody world of Victorian surgeryâ€”a place definitely not for the squeamish. She discusses how surgeons, working before anesthesia, were lauded for their speed and brute strength. They rarely washed their hands or their instruments, and carried with them a cadaverous smell of rotting flesh, which those in the profession cheerfully referred to as â€śgood old hospital stink.â€ť
Fitzharris also explores a critical turning point in the history of medicine. When surgery couldn't have been more dangerous, an unlikely figure stepped forward: Joseph Lister, a young, visionary Quaker surgeon whose quest to unite science and medicine delivered us into the modern world. By making the audacious claim that germs were the source of all infectionâ€” and could be treated with antisepticsâ€” and working ceaselessly to enlighten the medical world, Lister brought centuries of savagery, sawing, and gangrene to an end.
Her book, The Butchering Art: Joseph Listerâ€™s Quest to Transform the Grisly World of Victorian Medicine, will be available for signing after the program.