by Lindsey Fitzharris

Winner, 2018 PEN/E.O. Wilson Prize for Literary Science Writing
Short-listed for the 2018 Wellcome Book Prize
A Top 10 Science Book of Fall 2017, Publishers Weekly

A Best History Book of 2017, The Guardian

“Warning: She spares no detail!” ―Erik Larson, bestselling author of Dead Wake

In The Butchering Art, the historian Lindsey Fitzharris reveals the shocking world of nineteenth-century surgery and shows how it was transformed by advances made in germ theory and antiseptics between 1860 and 1875. She conjures up early operating theaters―no place for the squeamish―and surgeons, who, working before anesthesia, were lauded for their speed and brute strength. These pioneers knew that the aftermath of surgery was often more dangerous than patients’ afflictions, and they were baffled by the persistent infections that kept mortality rates stubbornly high. At a time when surgery couldn’t have been more hazardous, an unlikely figure stepped forward: a young, melancholy Quaker surgeon named Joseph Lister, who would solve the riddle and change the course of history.

Interview with the Author

The Joe Rogan Experience
#1272 – Lindsey Fitzharris
3//19       109 min

New Books Network
Lindsey Fitzharris, “The Butchering Art: Joseph Lister’s Quest to Transform the Grisly World of Victorian Medicine (Scientific American, 2017)
1/7/19       46 min

Hidden Histories
Joseph Lister with Lindsey Fitzharris
2/27/19        37 min

History Extra
Victorian medicine
11/27/17       33 min

Science for the People
#468 Slicing into Surgery
4/6/18            61 min

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