Patrick O'Brian Discussion Forum

Re: The Butchering Art by Lindsey Fitzharris – grisly medicine

Bob Bridges

Finally got around to reading this.  It is no slam at Chrístõ, and may not be at the author, but I think whoever wrote that subtitle exaggerates.  Surgery is still, by definition, cutting and sawing, still as "brutal" and "grisly" as before Lister's discovery; it's emotion, not reason, that leads to writing that he "brought centuries of savagery, sawing and gangrene to an end".

On Tue Oct 17, Chrístõ wrote
>'In The Butchering Art, historian Lindsey Fitzharris recreates 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.'

>'Review: The Butchering Art: Joseph Lister’s Quest to Transform the Grisly World of Victorian Medicine – Lindsey Fitzharris’s story of Lister’s battle to introduce hygiene to the operating theatre makes compelling reading'


>Dr Lindsey Fitzharris will be touring the US from October 17th to November 5th, beginning at the Mutter Museum in Philadelphia and ending at Coney Island in New York City. Go to to see full schedule.

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