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Publisher's Summary

Penguin presents the audiobook edition of The Butchering Art by Lindsey Fitzharris, read by Sam Woolf.
In The Butchering Art, historian Lindsey Fitzharris re-creates a critical turning point in the history of medicine, when Joseph Lister transformed surgery from a brutal, harrowing practice to the safe, vaunted profession we know today.
Victorian operating theatres were known as 'gateways of death', Fitzharris reminds us, since half of those who underwent surgery didn't survive the experience. This was an era when a broken leg could lead to amputation, and surgeons were still known to ransack cemeteries to find cadavers. And in squalid, overcrowded hospitals, doctors remained baffled by the persistent infections that kept mortality rates stubbornly high.
At a time when surgery couldn't have been more dangerous, an unlikely figure stepped forward: Joseph Lister, a young Quaker surgeon. By making the audacious claim that germs were the source of all infection - and could be treated with antiseptics - he changed the history of medicine forever.
With a novelist's eye for detail, Fitzharris brilliantly conjures up the grisly world of Victorian surgery, revealing how one of Britain's greatest medical minds finally brought centuries of savagery, sawing and gangrene to an end.
©2017 Lindsey Fitzharris (P)2017 Penguin AudioBooks
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful
5 out of 5 stars
By Mrs R Gladwell on 04-16-18

A great listen

loved hearing about the progression made in surgery throughout the years. Such a great listen.

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5 out of 5 stars
By Liz on 04-01-18

Very interesting.

An interesting and informative view into the world of the surgeon before, during and after clean, antiseptic and aseptic treatment was introduced by Dr Lister. Also a view at the collision of two sciences that showed the world why medicine needed to co-join biology and chemistry. Showing surgery and medicine as the science based craft it was a pulling physics, chemistry and biology together to improve hospital practices.

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful
5 out of 5 stars
By Miss Amy V on 11-14-17

Loved it

It was great to hear the story of Jospeh Lister, his family and all his contributions to medicine and surgery. Beautifully narrated, and well written. I'm only sad about the short length - I really didn't want the story to end.

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