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The vivid, often gruesome portrait of the 18th century pioneering surgeon and father of modern medicine, John Hunter. In the gothic horror story, Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde, the house of the genial doctor turned fiend is reputedly based on the home of the 18th century surgeon and anatomist John Hunter. The choice was understandable, for Hunter combined an altruistic determination to advance scientific knowledge with dark dealings that brought him into daily contact with the sinister Georgian underworld. In 18th century London, Hunter was a man both acclaimed and feared. John Hunter revolutionized surgical practice through his groundbreaking experiments. Driven by an insatiable curiosity, he dissected thousands of human bodies, using the knowledge he gained to improve medical care for countless patients, including some very illustrious people, Joshua Reynolds and Lord Byron among them. He was appointed Surgeon Extraordinary to King George III. In The Knife Man, Wendy Moore unveils a world characterized by hangings at the Tyburn Tree, by gruesome expeditions to dank churchyards, and by countless human dissections in attic rooms - large sums were paid to body-snatchers for stolen corpses which were delivered to Hunter's back door. Meticulously researched, it is also a fascinating portrait of a scientist determined to haul surgery out of the realm of superstition and into the dawn of modern medicine.
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