Rough Medicine: Surgeons At Sea In The Age Of Sail

Rough Medicine: Surgeons At Sea In The Age Of Sail

Rough Medicine: Surgeons at Sea in the Age of Sail

Using diaries, journals, and correspondences, Druett recounts the daily grind surgeons on nineteenth-century whaling ships faced: the rudimentary tools they used, the treatments they had at their disposal, the sorts of people they encountered in their travels, and the dangers they faced under the harsh conditions of life at sea.

From Publishers Weekly
Why would a medical doctor put himself on a whaling vessel in the age of sail? The pay was not tremendous, the company less than stimulating and the danger of disaster significant. Having sketched the origins of doctoring at sea, highlighting John Woodall (1569-1643), "the Father of Sea Surgery," Druett for the most part follows a group of British doctors who shipped out in the 1830s to find adventure and fortune in exotic waters such as the Celebes Sea. Also included is an account of one distinguished New York surgeon, John B. King, who sailed at the same time on a Nantucket whaler. None did amazingly well, nor did any do especially badly, but their collective experience will be of special interest to readers who enjoy the literature of sailing ships. Druett showcases excellent...

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