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The Knife Man


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The vivid, often gruesome portrait of the 18th century pioneering surgeon and father of modern medicine, John Hunter.

About the Author

Wendy Moore is a writer and journalist. After working as a reporter for local newspapers she has specialized in health and medical topics for more than twenty years. As a freelance journalist her work has been published in a range of newspapers and magazines, including the Guardian, the Observer and the British Medical Journal, and has won several awards. Having written extensively on medical history, she obtained the Diploma in the History of Medicine from the Society of Apothecaries (DHMSA) in 1999 and won the Maccabean prize for best dissertation that year. She lives in south London with her partner, Peter, also a journalist, and two children, Sam and Susannah. The Knife Man is her first book.


Wendy Moore has done justice to this marvellous man in a biography packed with gruesome facts and eye-opening perceptions. It is an accomplished achievement and a splendid read * The Times *
Moore's feel for pace and narrative is impeccable. She excels on the nitty-gritty of his work - the carving, digging, slicing and bottling - but makes us understand why these horrors were wonders. She is, at last, the biographer Hunter deserves * Independent *
The primitive operations without anaesthesia, the bitter rivalries and battles, the struggle against snobbery and orthodoxy - all set against a kaleidoscopic Hogarthian backdrop of gin-shops, brothels, elegant drawing rooms, charnel houses and crude operating theatres. This is a truly fascinating read -- Dr Alan Maryon Davis, Writer and Snr Consultant, Guy's Hospital
Marvellous... There is wit here, without banality; there is scholarship, without pomposity; there is history of the Georgian period that drives you to seek more about that same period - and there can be no greater compliment for a biographer. A classic unputdownable page-turner. It's a winner all round - and now I've finished it, I'm going to start all over again -- Claire Rayner, writer and health adviser
Wendy Moore has written an immensely readable account of one of the most fascinating individuals of the 18th century. A thoroughly enjoyable and entertaining biography -- Patrick McGrath, author of Port Mungo

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