Crucial Interventions

An Illustrated Treatise on the Principles & Practice of Nineteenth-Century Surgery.


A startling look at the golden age of surgery through gruesome yet beautiful technical illustrations and paintings from the Wellcome Collection, written by the bestselling author of The Sick Rose


ISBN: 9780500518106 Categories: ,

Richard Barnett


The 19th century saw a complete transformation of the practice and reputation of surgery. This fascinating book follows its increasingly optimistic evolution, drawing on the very best examples of rare surgical textbooks, with a focus on the extraordinary visual materials, held by the Wellcome Collection.

Unnerving and graphic, yet beautifully rendered, these fascinating illustrations include step-by-step surgical techniques paired with medical instruments and painted depictions of operations in progress. Arranged for the layman from head to toe, and accompanied by an authoritative, eloquent and inspiring narrative from medical historian Richard Barnett, this is an engrossing and enlightening volume.

Additional information

Weight 948 g
Dimensions 17.7 x 24.6 cm
Publisher name Thames and Hudson Ltd
Publication date 1 November 2015
Number of pages 256
Format Hardback
Dimensions 17.7 x 24.6 cm
Weight 948 g


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Richard Barnett studied medicine before becoming a historian. His writing has appeared in The Lancet, The London Magazine and The Natural Death Handbook. His first book, Medical London: City of Diseases, City of Cures, was published in 2008 and was a Book of the Week on BBC Radio 4. His second book, The Sick Rose, published by Thames & Hudson, was the winner of The British Book Design and Production Awards. Richard has also appeared on BBC4's 'The Beauty of Anatomy'. He is currently Director of studies in History, Pembroke-King's Programme, University of Cambridge and Honorary Research Fellow, UCL.