A surgical demonstration presented within the original architecture of the old operating theatre of St. Thomas’s Hospital of 1822.
John Snow, the First English Anaesthetist, Part 7: Chloroform, Death and Explanations
Before 1832 dissection was a feared and hated punishment for murder. The 1832 Anatomy Act requisitioned instead the corpses of the poor, transferring the penalty from murder to poverty. The Anatomy Act contributed to the terrible fear of the Victorian workhouse and influences attitudes towards death even today. This talk by author Ruth Richardson analyses the subject drawing on many disciplines to explore the fundamental issues of folklore and science, life and death and the political struggles surrounding ownership of the body in the 19th century.
Best-selling author Wendy Moore talks about her new book, The Mesmerist: the society doctor who held Victorian London spellbound, which tells the story of Elliotson’s battle to spread the word about mesmerism – hypnotism as we know it today – in the face of furious opposition.
LGBTQ+ people have always been part of London’s history, but their lives are only partially reflected in the historical record. Some groups of people are almost entirely absent, and others only appear when they transgress the laws or norms of their time. Starting with a curios case of 14th century prostitution this talk will chart the presence and absence of LGBTQ+ lives in the archive. Along the way we will meet judges, moralists and medics as well as lovers, swashbucklers and celebrities.
In this tour, the museum's resident researcher, Kirsty Chilton, will invite the public to take a visual tour through some of the most grizzly and terrifying surgical instruments ever designed and how they were used in the Georgian and Victorian Era. The surgical knives, the amputation saws, the trephines, and forceps are just a sample of objects used in the past and they will be presented live through our object handling collection.