Fearing the Beast: Animal Attacks and Medical Practice in the Middle Ages

Talk | 18 April, 2019, 7:00 PM

​Animals and humans lived in close proximity in the medieval period. Both the reality of animal bites and the fear of the event loomed large in the medieval imagination. This talk will examine this subject from the writings of medical authors and practitioners, in order to understand what animals were especially feared and what actions could be taken to either prevent an attack or the best remedial measures afterwards, from eating walnuts when going through a snake-infested area to applying ointments on cat bites.

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Music Inspired by Fear of Illness in the Pre-Anaesthetic Era

Concert | 23 April, 2019, 6:30 PM

​This experience will be divided into two parts: First, there will be a short overview by Dr. Nick Newton of the fear of illness and impending surgery on individuals in the 17th & 18th Century, followed by an introductory talk from Dr. Tim Smith, focusing on the aetiology and management of bladder stones in the pre-anaesthetic era. These brief introductions will set the scene for a concert by the Royal Baroque Ensemble, under the direction of Katarzyna Kowalik, of music composed by Marin, Lully, Froberger, Couperin and Zelenka reflecting the patient's anxieties concerning illness, surgery without anaesthesia and the close encounters with imminent or untimely death.

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After Hours Victorian Surgery Demonstration

Special Event | 9 May, 2019, 7:00 PM

​This is a unique after hours event that will take you back in time to witness a mock Victorian surgical demonstration presented within the original architecture of the old operating theatre of St. Thomas’s Hospital dated to 1822. Before the advent of anaesthesia, an operation had to be swift. Without hand-washing or antiseptics, the chance of later infection was high.


Overcoming Fear: A Tale of Cobras, Chloroform and Consumption. The Life, Times and Influence of Joseph T Clover.

Talk | 29 May, 2019, 7:00 PM

​ In the middle of the 19th century, a new participant entered the operating theatre. Sitting at the end of the operating table, largely unnoticed, the anaesthetist watched over the patient, observing everything around them. Many who took that seat were students, junior doctors, nurses, or even porters, but some were doctors who had elected to specialise in this emerging branch of medicine. One of these doctors was unique.

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Experts Choice 4