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Rough Medicine Surgeons at Sea in the Age of Sail

by Joan Druett

  • ISBN: 9780415924511
  • ISBN10: 0415924510

Rough Medicine Surgeons at Sea in the Age of Sail

by Joan Druett

  • List Price: $175.00
  • Binding: Hardcover
  • Publisher: Routledge
  • Publish date: 10/01/2000
  • ISBN: 9780415924511
  • ISBN10: 0415924510
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Description: Scurvy. Amputation. Tropical disease. Irritable captains. Mutinous crews. Such were the trials facing the men who shipped out as doctors on South Seas whalers in the early nineteenth century.

Having earned a medical degree and a certain station in society, what type of person would sign on for a dangerous three-year voyage to the other side of the globe? What types of medicines and surgical tools did these men have at their disposal? What sort of people did they encounter on remote South Seas islands? Using diaries, journals and correspondence, Joan Druett introduces us to extraordinary characters like the tattooed Dr. John Coulter, forced into tribal warfare by the natives of the Marquesas Islands (later a successful obstetrician back in England), and the venal Charles Frederick Winslow, who set up a seaman's hospital on Maui and managed to bilk the U.S. government out of a sizeable sum. Rich with fascinating detail, Druett chronicles medicine at sea from the dawn to the demise of the South Seas whaling trade.

A lively and often darkly humorous tale, Rough Medicine is sure to please fans of Patrick O'Brian's Aubrey/Maturin series and Dava Sobel's Longitude.

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