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I am thrilled to announce that The Chirurgeon’s Apprentice has been awarded a Cliopatria Award for ‘Best Individual Blog’ in 2011. In conjunction with the American Historical Association (AHA) and History News Network at George Mason University, awards are granted annually to the best historical blogs on the net. Winners were announced at the AHA conference in Chicago on January 6th. Here’s what the judges had to say about the website:

The Chirurgeon’s Apprentice is “dedicated to the horrors of pre-anaesthetic surgery,” but this creative and impeccably crafted blog accomplishes much more. Medical historian Lindsey Fitzharris brings the corporeal body into history. Drawing on a range of sources, from seventeenth-century medical treatises to Shakespeare, she illuminates the physical dimensions of the history of sickness, death and dying. The blog brings medical history to a broader audience, with intriguing posts that, for example, set modern practices like blood transfusions and organ transplantation in the context of a history of belief in the body as an instrument of healing, which included cannibalistic practices. Fitzharris’ posts are illustrated with striking photographs of historic medical specimens, such as the preserved left ventricle of a woman’s heart from 1765, showing the damage caused by myocardial infarction, posted, appropriately enough, on Valentine’s Day.

I originally began The Chirurgeon’s Apprentice as a way of reaching out to friends and family who did not understand what it was I did as a historian of medicine. Since its inception in September 2010, however, the website has taken on a life of its own, far exceeding all my expectations.

I am eternally grateful to all those who read and engage with The Chirurgeon’s Apprentice.  Without you, this website would have little meaning.

I am looking forward to 2012, and all the blood & gore it might bring!