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Rough Medicine: Surgeons at Sea in the Age of Sail
Rough Medicine Surgeons at Sea in the Age of Sail Author:Joan Druett By use of detective work and meticulous research, Joan Druett has reconstructed an exciting account of a way of life that has long since vanished. 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 disp... more »osal, the sorts of people they encountered in their travels, and the dangers they faced under the harsh conditions of life at sea.
Rough Medicine is much more than the lively stories of doctors at sea. It is a rich chronicle of both the early history of global trade and the evolution of modern medicine. Beautifully written and masterfully researched, there is no other book quite like this.« less
An interesting tale about ships' surgeons from the 19th century and earlier. Some of it deals with the various 'cures' these surgeons used. One of my living history friends was fascinated by the comparisons of two different ship's medical chests and the medications, herbal and chemical, listed.
It also covers the adventures of various surgeons sailing in navy, merchant and whaling vessels. Not all of them experienced the best of times. Between serving under ship captains who were tyrants, drunks, incompetent or all three, life aboard ship was anything but dull.