Webster was much possessed by death And saw the skull beneath the skin... (T.S. Eliot, Whispers of Immortality) I was very excited when the Royal College of Physicians of Edinburgh (@RCPEHeritage) tweeted pictures today illustrating that they have been ‘X-raying two of our circa 18thc midwifery manikins (also known as ‘phantoms’) – to discover that… Continue reading The skull inside the doll…
Thanks to the wonders of Twitter as a way of asking academic questions and being pointed to research I didn't know existed, last week I was able to read Tim Hitchcock's superb 2013 article "Confronting the digital: or how academic history writing lost the plot". This is the first piece I've read which addresses in detail,… Continue reading The internet for historians?
I'm fascinated by imaginary body parts: things which people used to believe existed, but which we no longer accept. I've recently read Naomi Alderman's novel The Power, which is based on the notion of a new part, the 'skein', developing in women and allowing them to zap men. Back in 2012, the Queen’s… Continue reading Imaginary body parts
“Do you want to know a secret?” Knowledge is power, but who knew what about women's bodies in the ancient world?
Every other year, I lead a tour group which visits two historic anatomy theatres: the oldest permanent structure, the Padua anatomy theatre of 1594, and the 1638-39 one in Bologna. Before 1594, anatomy theatres were temporary structures, in some cases erected at the expense of the professor performing the dissection. On the tour, we usually… Continue reading Theatres of Anatomy