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Death, Disease & Dissection (Paperback)

The Life of a Surgeon Apothecary 1750 - 1850

True Crime Social History

By Suzie Grogan
Imprint: Pen & Sword History
Pages: 149
ISBN: 9781473823532
Published: 30th October 2017


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Imagine performing surgery on a patient without anaesthetic, administering medicine that could kill or cure. Welcome to the world of the surgeon-apothecary... During the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries significant changes occurred in medicine. New treatments were developed and medical training improved. Yet, with doctors' fees out of the reach of ordinary people, most relied on the advice of their local apothecary, among them, the poet John Keats, who worked at Guys Hospital in London. These men were the general practitioners of their time, making up pills and potions for everything from toothache to childbirth. Death, Disease and Dissection examines the vital role these men played their training, the role they played within their communities, the treatments they offered, both quack and reputable against the shocking sights and sounds in hospitals and operating theatres of the time. Suzie Grogan transports readers through 100 years of medical history, exploring the impact of illness and death and bringing the experiences of the surgeon apothecary vividly to life.

The appendix of the book is particularly interesting. As someone not well-versed in medical terminology, the appendix which detailed the most common ailments was a very enjoyable read.

Read the complete review here.

Parkaman Magazine

The history of medicine is endlessly fascinating, and Suzie Grogan's new title is a worthy addition to the bookshelf of anyone with medical ancestors...

...This well-researched book explores the development of the profession, the medical training undertaken by students, and surgeons' links with the 'resurrection men' who supplied corpses for dissection. Especially interesting are the case studies of little-known surgeon apothecaries who tirelessly served their communities and had a huge impact on medicine.

WDYTYA? January 2018 – reviewed by Michelle Higgs

Even if you think the subject is not your 'thing', there is bound to be something here that interests you; it is a fascinating (and well-illustrated) study of health and medical history covering the century from 1750 to 1850.

Your Family History, January 2018

As featured in

Wellington Weekly News
 Suzie Grogan

About Suzie Grogan

Suzie Grogan is a London-born professional writer and researcher in the fields of social and family history and mental health. Suzie's first book Dandelions and Bad Hair Days: Untangling Lives Affected by Depression and Anxiety was published in 2012 and she also writes for a wide variety of national magazines. Suzie also runs a popular blog, 'No wriggling out of writing', and presents a local radio show on literature, called ‘Talking Books’.

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