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For Fear of Pain

British Surgery, 1790-1850

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Oh, you hurt me, Sir! … are you going to do it again? – <i>A patient, 1832 </i> <I>For Fear of Pain </I>offers a social history of the operating room in Britain during the final decades of painful surgery. It asks profound questions: how could surgeons operate upon conscious patients? How could patients submit? It presents a revisionist view of surgery, hygiene, nursing, military and naval surgery and the introduction of anaesthesia. <I>For Fear of Pain </I>seeks to unite the clinical with the human. Drawing on fresh evidence, it offers powerful insights into the experience of painful surgery. It is populated by the characters, ambitions, and animosities of the ‘great men’ of contemporary medicine, by the young men who grew into surgeons, and by the patients whose ‘fortitude’ was so notable.

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