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The anatomist anatomis'd; an experimental discipline in Enlightenment Europe.

9780754663386

The anatomist anatomis'd; an experimental discipline in Enlightenment Europe.

Cunningham, Andrew.

Ashgate Publishing Co.

2010

443 pages

$124.95

Hardcover

History of medicine in context

QM11

This is not a book for the squeamish. Cunningham (history and philosophy of science, University of Cambridge) has included many detailed prints of autopsies from seventeenth and eighteenth century Europe. However for those interested in an accurate, well-documented history of the study of anatomy, Cunningham's study will be much appreciated. He looks into all aspects of the subject, from the backgrounds of the anatomists to the process of procuring and preserving of the bodies before relating the story of the autopsy itself. He quotes from a number of reports by the anatomy teachers and by scientists of the day who were trying to form conclusions about how the body works and why it often doesn't. There is a chapter on midwifery, bodies of poor women who died in childbirth being fairly common. Legal disputes are chronicled as well as a mention of the infamous "resurrection men" who stole bodies from fresh graves. It is gratifying that, at the beginning of the book, Cunningham refutes the myth that the Catholic church forbade dissection. He notes that Protestant churches didn't either. Many less pervasive myths are expelled in this absorbing book, written with style and humor.

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Publication:SciTech Book News
Article Type:Book review
Date:Sep 1, 2010
Words:228
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