Seminar in the History of Science, Medicine, and Technology

'Visualising Bloodletting Knowledge in Early Modern England'

Elaine Leong (UCL)

Early modern London booksellers’ shelves were well stocked with a range of surgical print from anatomical treatises to general surgical manuals purporting to present the ‘whole art’ or ‘prooved practise’ of surgery.  These offered instruction in a range of areas from anatomy to wound treatment to the use of instruments to recipes for drugs. The formation of the Company of Barber and Surgeons in 1540 coincided with a rapid period of development in vernacular instructional print and an active production period for practical surgical manuals. A homegrown push to create materials for the teaching of surgery outside or in addition to traditional master/apprentice training introduced new kinds of printed pedagogical materials. This talk examines two visual objects – Thomas Geminus’ A table instructiue whan and how a man may cõnyngly let bloude (c. 1546) and Edward Edwards’ The analysis of chyrurgery (1637) – to explore how book producers adapted existing visual vocabulary and visualisation devices, usually associated with university learning, to convey practical surgical knowledge.

The seminar in the History of Science, Medicine, and Technology is convened by Alex Aylward (University of Oxford), Erica Charters (Wolfson College), Mark Harrison (University of Oxford), Catherine Jackson (Harris Manchester College), and Sloan Mahone (University of Oxford)