Skip to main content Accessibility help
    • You have access
    • Open access
  • Cited by 4

Book description

In this innovative analytical account of the place of emotion and embodiment in nineteenth-century British surgery, Michael Brown examines the changing emotional dynamics of surgical culture for both surgeons and patients from the pre-anaesthetic era through the introduction of anaesthesia and antisepsis techniques. Drawing on diverse archival and published sources, Brown explores how an emotional regime of Romantic sensibility, in which emotions played a central role in the practice and experience of surgery, was superseded by one of scientific modernity, in which the emotions of both patient and practitioner were increasingly marginalised. Demonstrating that the cultures of contemporary surgery and the emotional identities of its practitioners have their origins in the cultural and conceptual upheavals of the later nineteenth century, this book challenges us to question our perception of the pre-anaesthetic period as an era of bloody brutality and casual cruelty. This title is also available as open access.


‘Pain and compassion, sentiment and science: these are the themes that Michael Brown explores in his history of surgery. By fusing the history of emotions with the history of medicine, Brown sheds new light on clinical interactions. The book is an original and enthralling account of the emotional lives of surgeons.'

Joanna Bourke - Birkbeck, University of London

‘Based on a wealth of new and relevant sources, this book analyses the story of a key period in the history of modern surgery in a novel and original way. In combining the history of emotions with the history of surgery it is a model of what professional history of medicine can and should do.'

Thomas Schlich - McGill University

Refine List

Actions for selected content:

Select all | Deselect all
  • View selected items
  • Export citations
  • Download PDF (zip)
  • Save to Kindle
  • Save to Dropbox
  • Save to Google Drive

Save Search

You can save your searches here and later view and run them again in "My saved searches".

Please provide a title, maximum of 40 characters.


Full book PDF
  • Emotions and Surgery in Britain, 1793–1912
    pp i-ii
  • Emotions and Surgery in Britain, 1793–1912 - Title page
    pp iii-iii
  • Copyright page
    pp iv-iv
  • Dedication
    pp v-vi
  • Contents
    pp vii-vii
  • Figures
    pp viii-viii
  • Acknowledgements
    pp ix-xii
  • Note on the Text
    pp xiii-xiii
  • Abbreviations
    pp xiv-xiv
  • Introduction
    pp 1-18
  • 1 - Between Art and Artifice
    pp 19-64
  • Emotion and Performance in Romantic Surgery
  • 2 - Anxiety and Compassion
    pp 65-108
  • Emotional Intersubjectivity and the Romantic Surgical Relationship
  • 3 - The Patient’s Voice
    pp 109-148
  • Conscious and Unconscious Agency in Romantic Surgery
  • 5 - Quiescent Bodies
    pp 185-236
  • Utilitarianism and the Reconfiguration of Surgical Emotion
  • 6 - The ‘New World of Surgery’
    pp 237-274
  • Sepsis, Sentiment, and Scientific Modernity
  • Epilogue
    pp 275-287
  • New Pasts, New Futures
  • Select Bibliography
    pp 288-301
  • Index
    pp 302-310


Altmetric attention score

Full text views

Total number of HTML views: 0
Total number of PDF views: 0 *
Loading metrics...

Book summary page views

Total views: 0 *
Loading metrics...

* Views captured on Cambridge Core between #date#. This data will be updated every 24 hours.

Usage data cannot currently be displayed.