Not in the clamor of the crowded street, not in the shouts and plaudits of the throng, but in ourselves, are triumph and defeat.--Henry Wadsworth Longfellow
REDIRECT ALERT! (Scroll down past this mess if you're trying to read an archived post. Thanks. No, really, thanks.)
Due to my inability to control my temper and complacently accept continued silliness with not-quite-as-reliable-as-it-ought-to-be Blogger/Blogspot, your beloved Possumblog will now waddle across the Information Dirt Road and park its prehensile tail at http://possumblog.mu.nu.
This site will remain in place as a backup in case Munuvia gets hit by a bus or something, but I don't think they have as much trouble with this as some places do. ::cough::blogspot::cough:: So click here and adjust your links. I apologize for the inconvenience, but it's one of those things.
Friday, January 30, 2004
It’s been a while since I posted any lengthy quotations out of old books I have--I finally plumbed Everyone’s Writing Desk Book for all it had in it aside from the synonyms-antonyms-homonyms section. SO, I figured I would rummage through my other stuff and see what I could find.
I have a modern reprint here of a book entitled, Plain Concise, Practical Remarks on the Treatment of Wounds and Fractures, by John Jones, MD. I purchased this from a wonderful place called the King’s Arms Press and Bindery, who specialize in reprints of 18th century publications and ephemera, with a particular focus on military and political treatises of the Revolutionary War period.
According to their website, the book I have is a copy of a “rare work of 113 pages printed in New York in 1776 and contains much detailed information of the treatment of wounds and fractures as well as hints on the design and use of military hospitals. Among the chapters included are, Penetrating Wounds of the Thorax and Abdomen, Of Simple Fractures, Of Compound Fractures, On Amputation, Of Gun-shot Wounds, &c.”
Believe it or not, it really is interesting (even with the chore of reading something full of “long esses” and ligatures). The discourse seems vigorously scientific on one hand, but the outcome of that supposed scientific knowledge points to a profound ignorance of the nature of disease--some of the treatments had not changed since Galen. Lots of bleedings and purgatives and minute observations of humourous imbalances, and biting upon rolled up cloths to alleviate pain during the more uncomfortable procedures.
Oftentimes, our modern stereotype of doctors during this time is that they were cruel men not far removed from pure quacks, but despite describing some rather grisly treatments, the overall tone of Dr. Jones’ book is nonetheless one of great kindness and compassion toward the suffering patient.
In the Introduction, Dr. Jones delves into his opinion of what becomes a good Surgeon-- Sounds pretty good to me, even after 228 years.
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