Interviews

Screams, torture and so much blood: The gruesome world of 19th-century surgery

In these troubling times — amid melting glaciers, worries about a nuclear war and white supremacy rallies — it can sometimes be hard to appreciate our modern-day life… Read More

‘Have you seen the maggots yet?’ Lindsey Fitzharris on the gruesome history of surgery

The first time Lindsey Fitzharris saw a dead body, she was eight years old. Her great-aunt was embalmed and on display, a common practice at funerals in the American midwest. “My cousin asked me if I wanted to touch her; I was a kid, of course, I did,” she says… Read More

The Gruesome, Bloody World of Victorian Surgery

A new book follows Joseph Lister as he ushers surgery into the modern age… Read More

The Butchering Art: Victorian Medicine, From Blood-Caked Aprons and Body Snatching, to Antiseptic

“Ticketed spectators watched anatomists slice into the distended bellies of decomposing corpses, parts gushing forth not only human blood but also fetid pus. The lilting but incongruous notes of a flute sometimes accompanied the macabre demonstration. Public dissections were theatrical performances,” writes Dr. Lindsey Fitzharris in her new book The Butchering ArtRead More

'The Butchering Art': How A 19th Century Physician Made Surgery Safer

Lindsey Fitzharris’ new book is called “The Butchering Art.” It is not about carving meat for cooking. It’s about surgery the way it used to be done. And it’s about one surgeon in particular who changed the way it was done – Joseph Lister. In 19th-century England, Lister was the man who championed antiseptic surgery… Read More

Ignaz Semmelweiss: The Hand Washer Science Stories - Series 9

Lindsey Fitzharris tells the story of Ignaz Semmelweiss. In a world that had no understanding of germs, he saved lives with three simple words, ‘wash your hands’… Listen Now

#1272 - Lindsey Fitzharris

Dr. Lindsey Fitzharris is an author and medical historian. She is the creator of the popular blog, The Chirurgeon’s Apprentice, and the host of the YouTube video series Under the Knife. Her book “The Butchering Art: Joseph Lister’s Quest to Transform the Grisly World of Victorian Medicine” is available now via Amazon… Listen Now

'A grimy operating theatre; a patient who is fully awake. Imagine the terror of that situation': Lindsey Fitzharris on life, death and surgery in the 19th century

SO far, Lindsey Fitzharris tells me, two people have fainted during her book tour. Actually, one of them, a man, keeled over twice… Listen Now

Famous strange demises get a second look in The Curious Life and Death of…

Infamous historical cold cases get a scientific face-lift in The Curious Life and Death Of…, a new documentary series from the Smithsonian Channel. Hosted by author and medical historian Lindsey Fitzharris Read More

The Pen Ten with Lindsey Fitzharris

The PEN Ten is PEN America’s weekly interview series. In this week’s interview, Davie Loria speaks to medical historian Dr. Lindsey Fitzharris, author of The Butchering Art, which won the 2018 PEN/E.O. Wilson Literary Science Writing Award…. Read More

Famous strange demises get a second look in The Curious Life and Death of…

While Fitzharris’ Ph.D. from Oxford in history of science, medicine, and technology are impressive, so is her talent as a storyteller. Learn how this author manages to make intense science relatable and compelling on the page… Read More