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Talk about graphic. Victorian operating theatres were known as “gateways of death.” Surgeries were performed without anesthetics; doctors’ unwashed hands and tools were used to probe open wounds; squalid, overcrowded hospitals were rife with contagion; and fully half of those who underwent surgery didn’t live to tell the tale. In her award-winning The Butchering Art, Lindsey Fitzharris introduces a young surgeon, Joseph Lister, to this scene. He theorized not only that unseen germs were the source of the persistent infections, but that they could be treated with antiseptics—thus changing the history of medicine forever. Join Fitzharris as she conjures first the grisly world of Victorian surgery, then that all-important solving of the mystery, the battle that ensued, and its enduring impact.

This program is presented in partnership with the International Museum of Surgical Science. A book signing will follow this program. Click HERE for tickets.