A Cabinet of Medical Curiosities

A Cabinet of Medical Curiosities


Jan Bondeson’s A Cabinet of Medical Curiosities explores unusual medical conditions and frauds through the ages, discussing their possible diagnosis as well as their life histories. From being buried life, to snakes in the stomach, and back to giants, wolf-women, and a lady pregnant with bunnies, this work encompasses the weird and the weirder. Too often, however, the tales become nothing but long lists, and about as exciting as a grocery list for that matter. The best chapters in the book are toward the end, one about John Hunter, the pioneer surgeon who collected spectacular anatomical specimens, and the other about Julia Pastrana, a women entirely covered in hair and forced to work as a circus freak. If strange medical conditions of the past and present and the reasons behind them interest you a better work would be Mutants by Armand Marie Leroi. And if you want to learn more about John Hunter and his famous museum a more comprehensive source is Wendy Moore’s The Knife Man.


Try A Cabinet of Medical Curiosities if you liked the medical conditions in Armand Marie Leroi’s Mutants or if you liked the biography of John Hunter The Knife Man by Wendy Moore.

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